RWC: Chloe Rolls to the 50 cap milestone – and there is plenty more to come from her

By Gary Heatly

Ever since she stepped into the national team limelight back in 2015, Chloe Rollie has been one of Scotland’s best attacking threats.

The full-back, now 27, made it to 50 caps in the World Cup warm-up defeat to the USA in late August at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh – and there is no doubt that she will be a key player for the team if they are to make it out of Pool A and into the knock-out phase at the upcoming showpiece event in New Zealand.

However, because of her attacking prowess, her defensive work sometimes goes unnoticed and she performed a brilliant last gasp tackle against the USA to stop the visitors from scoring a try in the 44th minute.

The tenacity she showed to get there and make that tackle sums up Chloe Rollie the rugby player neatly because during her career she has had ups and downs, but she has always shown spirit and determination to keep her career going on an upwards curve.

Hopefully the best is yet to come for her in New Zealand in October and November, but let’s go back to the start…

“She just wanted to play rugby!”

“She was around eight when she started playing with the Jed Minis,” Chloe’s mum Lauretta said.

“Her dad and her brother had both played and Chloe had seen her brother playing and seemed to be keen to give it a go.

“Although she was playing with and against boys at that young age she showed no fear and was always keen to get involved.

“There were a couple of other girls in the Minis at the time, but I don’t think it would have bothered her if she was on her own, she just wanted to play rugby!”

At that time, Chloe was at Parkside Primary School and then she went to Jedburgh Grammar.

While at high school after a break she was able to keep her rugby going with the Gala Girls from around the age of 14 and she soon fell back in love with it instantly.

Next up for her was Melrose Women when she was still in her teens and that proved to be a good bridge for her into senior rugby before she joined Murrayfield Wanderers in Edinburgh.

At the time ‘Wandies’ were the premier women’s club in Scotland and Chloe was one of a number of young players who impressed there as the team continued to win trophies.

Post-school she did some further education learning, but rugby was always top of her priority list and she was one of the first female players brought into the Scottish Rugby Academy set-up.

“That was a big change and it was also a big boost for her, allowing her to focus on different parts of her game and diet and things like that,” her Mum continued.

“Then the opportunity came to move to France and play. Being quite a fan of home comforts it was a big move for her, but she took the plunge and I think it really helped her grow as a person and as a rugby player.”

Chloe moved to Lille Métropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois in 2017 alongside Lisa Thomson while their fellow Scotland cap Jade Konkel was already out there.

Ahead of the 2019/20 season Chloe moved to the Premier 15s in England, spending a year with Harlequins and having been with Exeter Chiefs since.

Of course, while her journey from Murrayfield Wanderers via France to England was taking place she was also making waves with Scotland at XVs and sevens levels.

Her XVs debut came in 2015 against France at the start of the Six Nation and she has not missed many matches since, scoring 15 tries in 50 caps and helping the team to the World Cup that is coming up.

Along the way there have been two brilliant tries against Ireland that have highlighted her importance to the team, but in general it has been her consistency that Scottish supporters have come to know her for.

“The whole family is just so proud”

“The whole family is just so proud of what Chloe has achieved,” her Mum adds.

“She has always been quite shy, but rugby has always been her ‘thing’ and the thing that makes her happiest.

“With Scotland she is blessed to be part of an amazing group of girls who now have the chance of a lifetime when they play in a World Cup in New Zealand.

“Chloe deserves everything she gets because she works so hard and wants it so badly, so to see her smiling after her 50th cap was amazing.”

This summer Chloe was part of the sevens squad that represented Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

And after she earned her 50th XVs cap versus the USA, Chloe herself said:  “Thanks to everyone for the messages and kind words. A childhood dream come true and absolute privilege to reach this milestone wearing the thistle.

“Massive thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my journey so far and my family who have stuck by me through all highs and lows.

“This team really makes all of my moments very special.

“Hopefully here’s to many more.”

Keep an eye out for World Cup coverage coming soon…

The Rugby World Cup runs from October 8 to November 12 and is on ITV