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'Selection has been tough': Scotland name their World Cup squad

By PA
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Head coach Bryan Easson is delighted to have respected duo Rachel Malcolm and Helen Nelson leading Scotland to the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand. The 32-player squad was named on Thursday with an equal split of 16 forwards and 16 backs selected as the Scots prepare to compete at the tournament for the first time in 12 years.

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It has been confirmed that Malcolm – skipper since 2018 – will continue as captain and will be supported by Nelson. “Rachel and Helen are both very good leaders and very well respected by the group,” said Easson.

“They speak incredibly well on the field but also off the field. We have worked hard in trying to grow leaders throughout the whole squad, but to have Rachel and Helen leading the group is fantastic.”

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Biggar’s Emma Orr, 19, is the youngest player to be selected, while Emma Wassell is the most-capped, with 57 of the group’s combined total of 775 international appearances. Jade Konkel-Roberts, Lana Skeldon, Sarah Law and Chloe Rollie are others in the squad who boast more than a half-century of caps, while Rhona Lloyd is a try short of notching 100 points for her country.

Easson admitted the selection process was tough. “I’m hugely honoured to be naming our squad for the 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,” he said.

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“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.

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“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 Scots will travel to New Zealand on September 23 ahead of their first pool match against Wales on October 9 in Whangareibefore they face Australia on October 15 and then the reigning champions and hosts a week later. “We are all incredibly excited for the month ahead,” said Easson.

“It has been a long time coming and it was exactly this time last year that we were in Italy trying to qualify for the World Cup, so it’s been a year in the making.”

Scotland World Cup squad
Forwards: Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning), Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning), Sarah Bonar (Harlequins), Elliann Clarke (Edinburgh University), Katie Dougan (Gloucester-Hartpury), Evie Gallagher (Worcester Warriors), Jade Konkel-Roberts (Harlequins), Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning), Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks), Louise McMillan (Saracens), Lyndsay O’Donnell (Worcester Warriors), Lana Skeldon (Worcester Warriors), Jodie Rettie (Saracens), Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning), Molly Wright (Sale Sharks); Anne Young (Heriot’s Rugby).

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Backs: Shona Campbell (Edinburgh University), Megan Gaffney (Loughborough Lightning), Coreen Grant (Saracens), Sarah Law (Sale Sharks), Rhona Lloyd (Les Lionnes du Stade Bordelais), Caity Mattinson (Worcester Warriors), Mairi McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill), Liz Musgrove (Watsonians), Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning), Emma Orr (Biggar RFC), Chloe Rollie (Exeter Chiefs), Eilidh Sinclair (Exeter Chiefs), Hannah Smith (Watsonians), Meryl Smith (Edinburgh University), Lisa Thomson (Sale Sharks), Evie Wills (Hillhead Jordanhill).

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