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Easson makes three changes for Women’s Six Nations curtain-raiser

Easson makes three changes for Women’s Six Nations curtain-raiser

Scotland head coach Bryan Easson has made three changes to his starting XV for this weekend’s clash with England in Doncaster in the first match of the 2021 Women’s Six Nations.

All three alterations from Scotland’s last outing, a 13-13 draw with France in the final match of the 2020 Championship in October, are in the pack.

Christine Belisle comes in at prop to join Leah Bartlett and Lana Skeldon in the front row, while Louise McMillan starts in the second row, where she will partner Emma Wassell.

Siobhan Cattigan lines up at No.8 in between skipper Rachel Malcolm and Rachel McLachlan as Scotland look to get their Championship off to a flying start at Castle Park.

Easson hasn’t made any changes to the backline which started against France, meaning Hannah Smith continues to partner Lisa Thomson in the midfield, while Helen Nelson and Mairi McDonald make up the half-back pairing.

The back three consists of Rachel Shankland and Megan Gaffney on the wings and Chloe Rollie at full-back.

Evie Gallagher could make her international debut from the bench on Saturday, while Liz Musgrove and Jenny Maxwell are also named among the replacements after returning from injury.

Easson said: “It’s been tough to select the team this week which has been a real positive as it shows there is good strength in depth within this squad.

“The team that will take the field on Saturday has an exciting blend of youth and experience.

“We have several players that have been involved in a number of Six Nations Championships now, but we also have a lot of young and upcoming talent that are pushing for places in the team.

“As a management group, we are looking for players to express themselves on both sides of the ball and also showcase the hard work that they have put in over this difficult period.

“The group have worked incredibly hard since August so we’ve had a good amount of preparation ahead of the tournament but we are now just ready and excited to get back on the pitch and play.”

Scotland team to face England: 

15. Chloe Rollie (Harlequins)

14. Rachel Shankland (Stirling County)

13. Hannah Smith (Watsonians)

12. Lisa Thomson (Unattached)

11. Megan Gaffney (Heriots)

10. Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning)

9. Mairi McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill)

1. Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning)

2. Lana Skeldon (Unattached)

3. Christine Belisle (Cartha Queens Park)

4. Emma Wassell (Corstorphine Cougars)

5. Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill)

6. Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning) – CAPTAIN

7. Rachel McLachlan (Unattached)

8. Siobhan Cattigan (Stirling County)

Substitutes

16. Molly Wright (Watsonians)

17. Panashe Muzambe (Edinburgh University / Watsonians)

18. Lisa Cockburn (Darlington Mowden Park)

19. Evie Gallagher (Stirling County)

20. Jodie Rettie (Saracens)

21. Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning)

22. Sarah Law (Unattached)

23. Liz Musgrove (Unattached)