RWC: Scotland legend Kennedy “super proud” of fellow Biggar RFC product Orr

By Gary Heatly

When Donna Kennedy speaks, Scottish rugby supporters tend to listen, so it was great to catch a word with her this week about rising star Emma Orr.

Ever since Orr made her international debut as an 18-year-old against Wales in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations earlier this year, everyone in women’s rugby circles north of the border and elsewhere have been talking about her.

Now 19 and with a Commonwealth Games appearance under her belt, she will earn her fifth cap against Australia in the crucial World Cup Pool A match.

She missed the last gasp 18-15 defeat to Wales at Northland Events Centre in Whangarei, New Zealand, last Sunday, but is now fully fit and raring to go in the number 13 jersey.

And as well as representing her country, she will also be proudly representing her club Biggar RFC.

“When you look at the players that have played for Scotland on the men’s side from Biggar like Scott Lawson and Fraser Brown it’s great, but on the women’s side it has really just been me, so to have Emma in the squad now is brilliant,” Kennedy, who earned a record 115 caps for Scotland mainly from No.8 and played in five World Cups, said.

“Biggar is where my rugby journey began and I have a special place in my heart for the club. They have done brilliantly to build up the girls and women’s section again in recent years and hopefully they will get to the Premiership soon.

“I am super proud of Emma and it was great to see her named in the starting XV for the Australia game. I have been messaging her this week and she has been messaging back while I also met her parents at the USA game in August as well.

“When you come from a small town with a community feel to it you just feel pride whenever you see someone from the same club doing well.

“Even though I haven’t played at Biggar for a long time I still see Emma as a team mate because we have started at the same place that is very special to us both.

“It is also great that she still plays for Biggar and people can see that next to her name this weekend because that will inspire the younger girls and the club – and girls from similar clubs – to realise that thy can dream too and maybe one day go to a World Cup.”

Kennedy and her fellow Scottish Thistles – a group made up of former internationalists – want to wish Emma and her squad mates all the best for the big game which is at 3am Saturday UK time.

For the crucial encounter against an Australian side who lost 41-17 to New Zealand last weekend, head coach Easson has also brought back-row Rachel McLachlan in to start and added backs Sarah Law and Evie Wills to the bench.

And he confirmed this week that an elbow injury has ruled Eilidh Sinclair out of the tournament with Eva Donaldson replacing her.

Scotland squad to play Australia: Chloe Rollie; Rhona Lloyd, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson, Hannah Smith; Helen Nelson, Caity Mattinson; Molly Wright, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Sarah Bonar, Rachel Malcolm (C), Rachel McLachlan, Jade Konkel. Subs: Jodie Rettie, Leah Bartlett, Elliann Clarke, Lyndsay O’Donnell, Mairi McDonald, Sarah Law, Evie Wills, Shona Campbell.

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

The main photo is of Emma Orr by Scottish Rugby while Donna Kennedy is also pictured