Women’s 6N: Dissertation, exams and graduation next for Meryl Smith, but she passed Six Nations test with flying colours

Gary Heatly

In the next while Meryl Smith will be working on her dissertation, preparing for and sitting exams and, all being well, graduating from her biological sciences degree at the University of Edinburgh.

However, before all that she has more than earned a couple of days off after playing very well for Scotland during the TikTok Women’s Six Nations when the team finished an encouraging fourth.

She started the tournament with four caps to her name, but now the 21-year-old centre has nine appearances under her belt having started four and come off the bench in one of the recent games.

In total she played 354 minutes, scored a try, carried 45 times, made 244 metres and made 49 tackles and, in general, displayed a maturity beyond her years.

She was named player of the match against Ireland in the 36-10 bonus point win versus Ireland at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh and has a bright future.

After the final game, the University of Edinburgh playmaker said:  “I will knuckle down for the next month, get my dissertation in, get some exams done and then, fingers crossed, hopefully graduate, but that’ll be after a couple of days off, I think I need it!

“I was surprised, but happy to get the player of the match award versus Ireland. That was a full 15 player/23 player effort, everyone put in such a shift from minute one to minute 80 and I could not be prouder of the team.

“My try just before half-time was a boost as the first half had been really tough. It was very back and forth and we felt like we deserved some points from it. We had a lot of possession, but it was just about trying to execute, so to go in at the break [5-3] ahead was really good and gave us confidence going into the second half that we could get more points on the board.

“The [crowd] are amazing, it has been so loud the last two weeks and you can really hear it out there on the pitch. It definitely lifts the team, it gives us the energy, that was a really tough game against Ireland and 60-70 minutes in we were all knackered, but the crowd lifted us and gave us that energy to push in the last few minutes and to finish with a final try [via full-back Chloe Rollie with the clock in the red] was brilliant.

“The whole tournament has been amazing [for me] just to get the experience, to get the game time. There have been a lot of learnings, some hard games and some hard reviews looking at how we have been playing, but it has been amazing to get the experience to play with this team and I think we are really building something special.

“It [WXV, World Rugby’s new event where Scotland will be in the second tier later this year] will be a great opportunity to see where we are against other nations across the world, we are excited to get more games in.

“I think we have been building for the last few games and we are just excited to see in a few months time how much more we can improve as a group.”

Keep an eye out on GH Media’s channels for comprehensive debrief coverage of Scotland TikTok Women’s Six Nations campaign until May 3…

Meryl Smith is pictured by Rugby People