Scotland Women Head Coach Bryan Easson today named a 32-player squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand.
The squad comprises of an equal split of 16 forwards and 16 backs, with the tournament marking the first ever Rugby World Cup experience for the entire squad, Scotland having made their last appearance at the showpiece event 12 years ago.
Rachel Malcolm will continue captaincy duties throughout the tournament – a role which the flanker has carried since 2018. Malcolm will be supported in her leadership role by vice-captain and Loughborough Lightning teammate, Helen Nelson.
Easson said: “Rachel and Helen are both very good leaders and very well respected by the group. They speak incredibly well on the field but also off the field.
“We’ve worked hard in trying to grow leaders throughout the whole squad, but to have Rachel and Helen leading the group is fantastic.”
Biggar’s Emma Orr is the youngest member of the squad, having turned 19 years old during this year’s Women’s Six Nations championship, while Emma Wassell is the most-capped member of the squad with 57 of the group’s combined total of 775.
A number of other experienced names are also selected, with the likes of Jade Konkel-Roberts, Lana Skeldon, Sarah Law and Chloe Rollie all boasting more than a half century of Scotland appearances, whilst Rhona Lloyd is a try short of notching 100 points for her country.
Easson continued: “We are all incredibly excited for the month ahead. I think it’s been a long time coming and it was exactly this time last year that we were in Italy trying to qualify for the Rugby World Cup so it’s been a year in the making.
“I’m hugely honoured to be naming our squad for the Rugby World Cup and I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone in the management team who has worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to get us to this point.
“A lot of discussions have been had, a lot of players have been played over the past year as well, so the process around that was to make sure we had the right players going.
“Selection has been tough as the players trained exceptionally hard over the summer, and then obviously getting the players back from the Commonwealth Games has been exciting for us as well.
“Everyone should feel incredibly proud of being selected for the tournament and I know the squad and management are ready for the challenge ahead.”
The squad will depart for New Zealand on 23 September, ahead of their first pool match against Wales on Sunday 9 October at Northland Event Centre, Whangarei (kick-off 5.45pmNZ time, 5.45am UK time).
The side will then go on to face fellow Pool A opponents Australia on Saturday 15 October (kick-off 3pm NZ time, 3amUK time) before taking on reigning champions and hosts, New Zealand, on Saturday 22 October (kick-off 4.45pm NZ time, 4.45am UK time).
Scotland squad for the Rugby World Cup 2021
Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning) – 18 caps
Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning) – 18 caps
Sarah Bonar (Harlequins) – 31 caps
Elliann Clarke (Edinburgh University) – 1 cap
Katie Dougan (Gloucester-Hartpury) – 16 caps
Evie Gallagher (Worcester Warriors) – 13 caps
Jade Konkel-Roberts (Harlequins) – 53 caps
Rachel Malcolm CAPTAIN (Loughborough Lightning) – 30 caps
Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks) – 29 caps
Louise McMillan (Saracens) – 37 caps
Lyndsay O’Donnell (Worcester Warriors) – 16 caps
Lana Skeldon (Worcester Warriors) – 54 caps
Jodie Rettie (Saracens) – 17 caps
Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning) – 57 caps
Molly Wright (Sale Sharks) – 15 caps
Anne Young (Heriot’s Rugby) – 2 caps
Shona Campbell (Edinburgh University) – 7 caps
Megan Gaffney (Loughborough Lightning) – 44 caps
Coreen Grant (Saracens) – 1 cap
Sarah Law (Sale Sharks) – 52 caps
Rhona Lloyd (Les Lionnes du Stade Bordelais) – 39 caps
Caity Mattinson (Worcester Warriors) – 6 caps
Mairi McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 8 caps
Liz Musgrove (Watsonians) – 10 caps
Helen Nelson VICE-CAPTAIN (Loughborough Lightning) – 43 caps
Emma Orr (Biggar RFC) – 4 caps
Chloe Rollie (Exeter Chiefs) – 50 caps
Eilidh Sinclair (Exeter Chiefs) – 18 caps
Hannah Smith (Watsonians) – 34 caps
Meryl Smith (Edinburgh University) – 3 caps
Lisa Thomson (Sale Sharks) – 46 caps
Evie Wills (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 3 caps