Women’s 6N: It’s a numbers game for Chloe Rollie as she makes the top 10 before playing in front of 7,774

Gary Heatly

The bench may not be where Chloe Rollie has been accustomed to being during most o f her career, but after two recent showings as a replacement she is now in the top 10 most capped female players for Scotland list.

Her first 61 caps came from the start, mainly at full-back, before caps 62 and 63 off the bench against Wales and France in the first two rounds of this year’s Guinness Women’s Six Nations.

Ahead of this coming weekend’s round three clash with England at a sold out Hive Stadium in Edinburgh it means she is 10th in the all-time standings.

Cap number 10 Donna Kennedy leads the way with 115 caps followed by Heather Lockhart (cap number 103, 89 caps), Karen Findlay (cap number 40, 86 caps), Lee Cockburn (cap number five, 77 caps), Paula Chalmers (cap number 43, 77 caps), Beth Macleod (cap number 45, 76 caps), Louise Dalgliesh (cap number 92, 67 caps), Lana Skeldon (cap number 160, 67 caps), Emma Wassell (cap number 173, 66 caps) and now Rollie (cap number 189, 63 caps).

“It’s a great feeling to be on that list, definitely,” the 28-year-old from Jedburgh said.

“You walk into the changing room and we’ve got the chart up with people’s pictures and cap numbers and I’m at the bottom [of the top 10], it’s mind-blowing. It’s never something I thought about happening before, but now I’m there it’s really cool. I do want to strive to get further up that board and stay on there for a while.

Rollie admits the general growth in women’s rugby in Scotland is also “mind-blowing” as the squad prepare to face England at the weekend.

Just two years ago when the Scots hosting their old rivals a crowd of 3,988 was at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh as it was known then.

Fast forward to this coming weekend and a home tournament record crowd of 7,774 will be at the Hive to see the ever-improving hosts taking on the world number one English.

“It’s mind-blowing,” the player, whose early Scotland home games back in 2015 were played in front of a few hundred people at Broadwood, said.

“It’s massive to have a sell-out crowd and it shows exactly where Scottish rugby and the Scottish women’s team is getting pushed to.

“It shows how much hard work we’ve put into the game and into showing our brand of rugby – now we want to play like that more and inspire the next generation and keep everything going and ticking over.

“It shows how much work has been put in across the board to get us to where we are now. The Hive being sold out is testament to how interested people are in us as a team and as a union.”

There are also big posters throughout the Murrayfield complex where Hive is situated that feature 63-times capped Rollie and some of her team mates alongside the Scotland men’s players.

“That is mind-blowing too, if I’m honest,” Rollie, the Loughborough Lightning player who had an ankle niggle leading up to the tournament and has scored 19 international tries, stated.

“I think to see yourself on the stadium, it’s not like your hard work has paid off, but it feels that way at the same time. I’ve been here a long time now, and I think to see myself on the side of the stadium is massive.

“And it just allows younger girls and younger players to look up at that and hopefully think that they could be there one day as well. That’s quite cool.”   

Although Scotland are on the up and have beaten Wales and pushed France hard in the first two rounds, this will be their toughest test yet by a long way.

“This Six Nations I think we’ve got way more confidence and, yes, England are the number one team in the world so it’s never going to be easy, but whatever happens on the day will happen,” Rollie concluded.

Thanks to N50 Photography for the image of Chloe Rollie

During the Guinness Women’s Six Nations period through to the end of April, GH Media will be covering all aspects of women’s rugby in Scotland via reports, features and interviews…

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