Six Nations: Meet the ex-judoka, the “exciting prospect” and the “excellent kicker” looking to make their mark with Scotland


By Gary Heatly

It only seems like yesterday that the Scotland squad were defeating Colombia to make it through to the World Cup and then hotfooting it back to BT Murrayfield to be out on the pitch at half-time in the men’s Scotland-France game.

However, in the last few weeks members of Bryan Easson’s squad have been playing for their clubs and training hard ahead of the 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations that begins on March 26.

It will be the first year that a complete five game tournament has been played in its own window away from the men and the under-20s and the first time a five game event has been played since the pandemic came.

As a result, the excitement is building, especially for a Scotland team on the rise who have won five of their last six Tests.

The 2022 championship will also see all of Scotland’s games broadcast across BBC channels, with Scotland’s first two matches against England and Wales being shown on BBC Two and the remaining three fixtures being broadcast on BBC Scotland.

With a new event brings new opportunities and Scotland have called up former judoka Alison Wilson and youngster Emma Orr to the national squad for the first time ahead of the showpiece event with the duo and Meryl Smith looking to make their international debuts in the coming weeks.

Heriot’s tighthead prop Wilson and Biggar centre Orr are the new faces in a 35-strong playing group for the showpiece event that begins when the Scots host world number one side England at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh in 10 days time.

Edinburgh University stand-off/centre Smith was in Dubai for the recent successful World Cup qualifying trip, but was not in the matchday 23 versus Colombia and will be keen to get a chance in the upcoming few weeks.

The other three players added to the 30 who travelled to the UAE are more experienced ones in the shape of Watsonians’ centre Hannah Smith (back from suspension), DMP Durham Sharks’ winger Abi Evans (recovered from a head knock) and Saracens’ hooker/back-row Jodie Rettie (finished a block of police training).

On the uncapped trio of Wilson, Orr and Smith and what impact they could make between now and April 30, head coach Easson said:  “Alison is a prop that is playing at Heriot’s, her background is in judo and she has competed in that sport at a high level. She has a real tough edge about her and we want to build the prop stocks that we have.

“Emma is a really exciting prospect, she has been involved in the sevens programme and played particularly well for them year. To be able to bring in another player who can push the experienced midfielders is brilliant.

“And Meryl is a 10/12 and her core skills are very good, she is also an excellent kicker as well which will allow us to look at progressing our game over time.

“We are going into a new format of event with three games, then a week off, then two games so we need a big squad.

“And we also want to look at blooding some players ahead of the World Cup.”

Back-row Rachel Malcolm is captain once again with stand-off/centre Helen Nelson her deputy. Back-row Jade Konkel, hooker Lana Skeldon, stand-off Sarah Law and full-back Chloe Rollie could all reach 50 caps during the event which runs until April 30.

Scotland squad for the TikTok Women’s Six Nations:


Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning) – 12 caps

Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning) – 12 caps

Sarah Bonar (Harlequins) – 25 caps

Lisa Cockburn (Worcester Warriors) – 23 caps

Katie Dougan (Gloucester Hartpury) – 15 caps

Eva Donaldson (Edinburgh University) – 1 cap

Evie Gallagher (Stirling County) – 8 caps

Jade Konkel (Harlequins) – 49 caps

Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning, C) – 24 caps

Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks) – 24 caps

Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 31 caps

Lyndsay O’Donnell (Worcester Warriors) – 15 caps

Jodie Rettie (Saracens) – 18 caps

Lana Skeldon (Worcester Warriors) – 48 caps

Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning) – 52 caps

Alison Wilson (Heriot’s) – uncapped

Molly Wright (Sale Sharks) – 10 caps

Anne Young (Edinburgh University) – 1 cap


Shona Campbell (Edinburgh University) – 2 caps

Abi Evans (DMP Durham Sharks) – 15 caps

Megan Gaffney (Loughborough Lightning) – 39 caps

Coreen Grant (Saracens) – 1 cap

Sarah Law (Sale Sharks) – 48 caps

Rhona Lloyd (Les Lioness du Stade Bordelaise) – 33 caps

Caity Mattinson (Worcester Warriors) – 1 cap

Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning) – 36 caps

Mairi McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 7 caps

Liz Musgrove (Watsonians) – 10 caps

Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning, V-C) – 37 caps

Emma Orr (Biggar) – uncapped

Chloe Rollie (Exeter Chiefs) – 45 caps

Hannah Smith (Watsonians) – 30 caps

Meryl Smith (Edinburgh University) – uncapped

Lisa Thomson (Sale Sharks) – 40 caps

Evie Wills (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 3 caps

Full fixture list here

Head along and support the Scotland team in the 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations as tickets for both of Scotland’s home fixtures are on sale now.

Adult tickets are £15, under-18 tickets at £5 and under-12s can attend for just £1 with a paying adult ticket – secure your tickets here

Thanks to Alison Wilson, Nigel Pacey and Rugby People for the photos – Alison Wilson is pictured in her judo days, Emma Orr (holding Plate) is with her dad James and sister Alison and Meryl Smith is playing for Edinburgh University