Women’s 6N: Happy place, happy place… is playing for Scotland for Evie Gallagher

Gary Heatly

Scotland No.8 Evie Gallagher admits it was tough to miss out on the Rugby World Cup due to injury, but the five months out flew by and now she is feeling “really strong”.

The 22-year-old was in great form for Scotland in 2022 and was originally named in the squad to travel to the World Cup in New Zealand late last year.

“I tore the ligaments in my ankle in our first training session after the World Cup squad was announced,” Evie, now 22, explained about the situation that led to Elis Martin heading to the showpiece event instead as part of the group.

“At the time it felt like it was so far away to come back, but now I’m back it’s actually flown by.

“I think if it [the injury situation] had happened while I was still working it would have been hard to focus on getting back as quickly as I could, but being full-time [she is one of 28 Scottish Rugby contracted female players] has made it easier.

“The last few months I’ve been completely focused on getting back for the Six Nations. That was always my goal.

“I feel really strong and I feel like how I was last season. My ankle injury is not even in my head any more.

“As gutting as it was to miss out on my first World Cup, some of the girls in the squad had to wait 10 plus years to go to their first, so I think I’ll last.

“I almost feel like I was there as well supporting the girls, even though I was back home watching on TV.

“I am now happy to be back in camp after trying to turn the injury into as much of a positive as I could.”

Evie had surgery in Scotland, but spent most of her injury rehab time down south with her Allianz Premier 15s club Worcester Warriors.

She managed a couple of run outs for them recently before starting for Scotland – and earning her 14th full cap – against England in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations opener against England at Kingston Park in Newcastle last weekend.

“It didn’t really hit me until we were singing the anthem, I was like ‘It’s been a wee while since I’ve been here’, it was a reminder of what my dream has always been: putting on a Scotland shirt and playing with the girls again,” the Stirling County product who also had a spell playing for the University of Edinburgh said.

“It’s just my happy place and, the result aside [a 58-7 loss], it felt good to be back out there with the team.”

In round two of the competition Scotland are at home to Wales this coming Saturday – you can still get tickets for the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh showdown here, too.

“Wales is always a game we’re pretty hungry for, they’re our biggest rivals, I would say, in the Six Nations,” Evie said.

“It’s always a close fight against them, they always come out the blocks firing.

“They want to come at you, especially in the first half, so we’re expecting a lot of physicality from them.

“There’s something about them, they love taking it to you, so if we can match that and play them at their own game then it’s going to be a good one.

“We don’t want to lose it in the last five minutes or the last ten minutes. If we’re ahead, we’re staying ahead. We want to stay strong.

“We’re all just hungry to go out there and get that win, prove a point and just show what we’re about.”

The Scotland matchday 23 is due to be named on Thursday.

Keep an eye out on GH Media’s channels for comprehensive coverage of all things Scotland throughout the TikTok Women’s Six Nations…

Evie is pictured in training this week via the Scottish Rugby Twitter feed