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Scotland squad for key World Cup qualifier announced

Rachel Malcolm will once again captain the side in their key World Cup qualifier

Scotland Woman head coach Bryan Easson has announced a 30-strong squad for the Rugby World Cup 2021 Final Qualification Tournament.

With a spot in the final already secured due to Samoa’s withdrawal, Scotland will take on the winner of a semi-final between Kazakhstan and Colombia in Dubai on February 25.

If they win the repechage final, group stage matches against hosts New Zealand, Australia and Wales will await when World Cup action begins in October.

Rachel Malcolm will continue to captain the side as they look to seal the final World Cup spot, and she’ll be joined by six of her Loughborough Lightning teammates in Dubai.

Forwards Leah Bartlett, Christine Belisle and Emma Wassell feature in the squad, as do backs Megan Gaffney, Jenny Maxwell and Helen Nelson.

After Wassell, who has 51 caps, the next most experienced player in the squad is Jade Konkel, who could make a 49th appearance for her country, with the likes of Lana Skeldon, Sarah Law, Chloe Rollie and Lisa Thomson also featuring.

Easson has also included three uncapped players in his squad with Eva Donaldson, Caity Mattinson and Meryl Smith all in line to potentially make their debut.

Mattinson previously represented England, though has now chosen to represent Scotland after not playing international rugby for over three years.

Speaking about the squad, Easson said: “We’ve been encouraged by the performances the squad have produced over the past few months so we haven’t made too many changes to our preparations.

“The ability to select a 30-player squad has been a real positive for us, as we can keep working with the group that featured in the qualifiers in Parma, while also introducing some new players to the squad.

“It’s also great to have Caity Mattinson join the programme as well. As she hasn’t played for England within the past three years, she is eligible to join Scotland through World Rugby’s recent rule amendment.

“Caity has been really keen to return to international rugby and play for Scotland so it will be great to see her involved with the group.”

Forwards

Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning) – 11 caps

Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning) – 11 caps

Sarah Bonar (Harlequins) – 25 caps

Lisa Cockburn (Worcester Warriors) – 22 caps

Katie Dougan (Gloucester Hartpury) – 14 caps

Eva Donaldson (Edinburgh University) – uncapped

Evie Gallagher (Stirling County) – 7 caps

Jade Konkel (Harlequins) – 48 caps

Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning) – 23 caps CAPTAIN

Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks) – 23 caps

Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 30 caps

Lyndsay O’Donnell (Worcester Warriors) – 15 caps

Lana Skeldon (Worcester Warriors) – 47 caps

Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning) – 51 caps

Molly Wright (Sale Sharks) – 9 caps

Anne Young (Edinburgh University) – 1 cap

Backs

Shona Campbell (Edinburgh University) – 1 cap

Megan Gaffney (Loughborough Lightning) – 38 caps

Coreen Grant (Saracens) – 1 cap

Sarah Law (Sale Sharks) – 47 caps

Rhona Lloyd (Les Lionnes du Stade Bordelais) – 32 caps

Caity Mattinson (Worcester Warriors) – uncapped

Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning) – 35 caps

Mairi McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 7 caps

Liz Musgrove (Unattached) – 10 caps

Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning) – 36 caps

Chloe Rollie (Exeter Chiefs) – 44 caps

Meryl Smith (Edinburgh University) – uncapped

Lisa Thomson (Sale Sharks) – 39 caps

Evie Wills (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 2 caps