Preparations for the 2020 Women’s Six Nations are stepping up with two warm-up matches this weekend.
Sunday sees Scotland face Spain in Almeria while Ireland and Wales lock horns in Cardiff in an uncapped clash.
BARTLETT GETS CHANCE TO IMPRESS
Scotland boss Philip Doyle believes the friendly against Spain will provide them with the perfect platform ahead of the Championship.
Loughborough Lightning loosehead prop Leah Bartlett is the only uncapped player named in the starting XV and Doyle reckons she can bring a physical edge to his side.
“I am excited to see what this team will deliver in Spain,” Doyle said.
“We have a good mix with some experienced players but also a number hoping to receive their first cap for Scotland.
“Leah has settled in well with the squad and has really shown some great physicality and game understanding.
“She has impressed us and has warranted a start.
“Spain are going to be a tough side to play, especially in Spain, so I will be expecting the players to put everything into this match and come away with a performance that will put us in a good stead ahead of the Six Nations.
“That is ultimately what we are aiming for.”
After the encounter with Spain, Scotland will begin the Women’s Six Nations away to Ireland before welcoming defending Grand Slam champions in Round Two.
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT 🏴
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) January 17, 2020
GRIGGS HOPES PLAYERS WILL STAKE CLAIM
Head coach Adam Griggs says Ireland will be looking to “fine-tune” their game during their training weekend in Wales.
A 26-strong squad will head to Cardiff where players will be put through their paces before tackling Wales in a non-cap match.
“This warm-up fixture against Wales will provide the platform for us to fine-tune our game and test ourselves in areas we have been working on under match intensity heading into the Six Nations which is always of great value to the coaching group and players,” Griggs said.
“We’ve a good mix of youth and experience with this selection and they will get the first opportunity of 2020 to represent our group and have the chance to stake their claim for the jersey before we start the tournament.”
Head Coach Adam Griggs has named a squad of 26 to travel to Cardiff for a training weekend which will conclude with an uncapped game against Wales on Sunday afternoon ahead of the @Womens6Nations#ShoulderToShoulder https://t.co/rytGIZUcQ8 pic.twitter.com/6gTldSGq0E
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) January 16, 2020
Meanwhile, second row Gwen Crabb, 20, is determined to make her mark in this year’s Six Nations as Wales look ahead to three home matches at Cardiff Arms Park.
“Our aim is to produce a brand of rugby that is really exciting to watch and to inspire the younger generation to take up rugby too,” Crabb said.
“We made really good progress in the autumn and we are determined to step up another gear in this campaign.”
🔴 Datblygiadau ysgogol i’r timoedd Menywod Cymru gyda thymor mawr ar y gorwel.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) January 13, 2020