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rugby scotland Scotland Women Six Nations women in sport

Scotland Women: My Starting XV vs France

This is the month the Six Nations returns! Scotland women will host France the weekend of October 24th, and I’m too excited to wait until nearer the time to pick my team.

If you haven’t yet read my last Women’s Six Nations post, have a look here for a summary of the tournament so far, and predictions for Scotland’s next three games.

  1. Lisa Cockburn. Leah Bartlett definitely gets a mention here, as one try in only 3 appearances is very impressive for a front row, but a solid scrum is needed against a team like France, so experience wins out.
  2. Lana Skeldon. Find me another hooker that has 28 points from 39 caps and I’ll be a happy woman. Skeldon’s experience, and unexpected kicking ability, gives her an edge over the very exciting Molly Wright, who, like Leah Bartlett, has a try in just 3 caps.
  3. Megan Kennedy. Kennedy has been so unlucky with injuries not to add further to her 15 caps. She’s an absolute warrior. Mairi Forsyth has also been on cracking form, but Megan Kennedy’s unbreakable spirit clinches this one for me.
  4. Emma Wassell. She debuted in the first Six Nations match of 2014 and has played every single game since then. I can’t argue with that, and wouldn’t want to: Wassell is solid in the set piece and a great player in the loose, too.
  5. Nicola Howat. While Howat isn’t as consistent a defender as other players like Sarah Bonar, she’s a leggy, speedy attacker. Against a team like France, it’s worth giving her a run around.
  6. Rachel Malcolm. I’d have Malcolm continuing her captaincy, as she seems to help the team maintain a cool head, which is something Scotland sometimes lacks.
  7. Rachel McLachlan. Such an exciting young player, who makes an absolute nuisance of herself. There’s nobody I’ve hated playing against more. Panashe Muzambe is also great and is unlucky with how great McLachlan’s form has been.
  8. Jade Konkel. At this moment in time, there’s not really a debate. Jade’s the team’s only specialist number 8 listed on the SRU website, and she puts her body and heart on the line for every game.
  9. Jenny Maxwell. Mairi McDonald definitely proved her worth while Maxwell was injured, but for a game that could be as close as the one against Italy, the experience wins out.
  10. Helen Nelson. She proved her leadership ability captaining Scotland 7s, and her skills are undeniable. GB 7s.
  11. Rhona Lloyd. If you’ve ever seen Lloyd get an inch of space on the wing, you’ll know she’s what Scotland needs. Her strength and pace are so exciting. GB 7s. Abi Evans gets a shout here, too.
  12.  Lisa Thomson. More leadership ability in the 10-12 axis from the former captain. Her ability to play 10 gives her a versatile edge.
  13. Hannah Smith. GB 7s. While Smith sometimes attacks solo when a pass is wanted, it’s great to see a Scotland player who wants to get over the try-line, and with a great fringe too.
  14. Megan Gaffney. Gb 7 s. Gaffney is deeply experienced, but also an absolute firecracker. It’s exciting to see what her new club, the National 1 Heriots, will get up to with her on the wing.
  15. Chloe Rollie. Who else? She’s electrifying in attack and fairly solid in defence. Scotland could definitely do with more depth at fullback, but if Rollie continues her great form, anyone else would struggle to get a start here.

Feel free to argue (kindly!) or agree with any of my choices, and keep an eye out for the rest of my match reports and predictions.

Categories
I am enough rugby scotland Scotland Women sport Uncategorized women in sport

#IAmEnough

In case you haven’t seen the latest women’s rugby controversy, let me catch you up. Canterbury and Ireland released the men’s and women’s strips: the male models were Conor Murray, Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw; the female models were… models. Beautiful women, yes, but the implication (sometimes outright stated) was that female rugby players are not beautiful enough, strong enough, inspirational enough.

The message from female rugby players has been strong and conclusive: we are enough, and we have had enough.

Lots of women’s rugby players are incredibly beautiful, in many different ways. But do you know what? Some of us don’t fit standards of beauty, and that shouldn’t matter either. A cauliflower ear, broken nose, or some lumps and bumps would never stop men modelling the kit that’s made for them, and it should never stop women either.

In only a few days, the movement has inspired a big change: Canterbury has committed to using rugby players for all their female kit launches from now on. In these dark times, small progress should be celebrated.

There are so many female rugby players I look up to, regardless of how good looking they are. My friends, my idols, women who dedicate their lives to rugby and might never see a penny from it, no matter how high a level they attain. If you feel like being inspired, too, here are five wonderful women who are every bit as impressive as Stuart Hogg.

Florence Williams. This is the lady that started the movement, so naturally she had to be on my list. She plays for Wasps, and is the founder of Perception Agency, which aims to change the way we see women’s sports.

Rhona Lloyd. The Scotland winger seems to get bigger biceps and even more badass every time she posts on Instagram. A great example of a beautiful woman whose talent and heart are far more important than the way she looks. Check out her ‘Women Who Sport’ podcast.

Jade Konkel. You should have heard of Jade, Scotland’s first female full-time rugby player. Her Instagram is packed with training pictures and inspirational quotes, and if you’re a soppy romantic like me, you’ll love her engagement story.

Heather Fisher. An England and GB7s player (a World Cup winner and an Olympian!) who has been vocal about her past struggles with anorexia, and her ongoing alopecia. Her values are ‘work hard, be brave, believe in yourself,’ which I think we can agree are the words of a role model.

Panashe Muzambe. Panashe is still young, only 24, and is in the early stages of her career. However, being the first Black woman to play for Scotland is already incredible, and I’m sure there’s a lot more to come. She has a podcast which talks about ‘life experiences, black/minority culture, relationships, TV, music and so much more.’

Two teams posts about the #IAmEnough movement also caught my eye. Saracens are using their big name to show other teams how kit launches should be done, and have a look at Hamilton Ladies for a local team who always have something to say for women.

Let me know which women inspire you, and always remember: women are enough, we’ve had enough, and we will come for you.