Women’s 6N: Scotland will have to “put the full package together for 80 minutes” versus Italy, says Lana Skeldon

Gary Heatly

Having made her Scotland debut way back in 2011 and, for a period, been part of the squad that didn’t win a Six Nations match for over 30 games, Lana Skeldon is battled hardened and is not feeling external pressure given the team’s current form.

Sunday’s 55-0 loss to France was the side’s 12th Test defeat in a row, but hooker Lana and co are not panicking.

Instead, they have dusted themselves down since returning from Vannes and are fully focused on putting in a complete performance against Italy in round four of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations on Saturday.

It promises to be a cracker at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh – get tickets here – and it will be followed by another home game at the same venue versus Ireland on Aril 29.

Talk of Ireland can wait though and ahead of Italy 60-capper Lana said:  “The pressure doesn’t come externally, the pressure comes from ourselves in the group because we believe that we can win and we are so passionate about winning.

“Because of the support we are being given now [28 players have professional Scottish Rugby contracts], we are being given opportunities to learn, to grow, to develop and we are working so hard.

“In the last three games you’ve definitely seen it in parts, but at the moment because of the blend of experience and youth we have we are at a different stage in our journey now.

“We want to put what we are doing in training into the game and we have seen parts of it, now we need to put the full package together for a full 80 minutes against Italy.

“We need to put the pieces together and have passion and belief throughout.”

So, what can supporters expect from world ranked fifth side Italy when they visit 11th ranked Scotland?

“Italy have always played a similar brand of rugby, they like to offload, they like to play a bit loose,” Lana continued.

“They have had a few personnel changes, so there are some players we haven’t come across before, but looking at their campaign they seem to be doing well [one win, two losses so far].

“There are definitely things that we can utilise against them though, they play a very different game to us.

“They look good, but we have improved and we have to gel things together this weekend.

“For us it is about how much control we can have on the game. If we are in control with the ball or in defence, then that is when we are at our best. If we lose that control that is when teams like Italy can get on top, so we have to try and control the game.

“We don’t want to be stuck on a previous game, it is so important for us to move on. There have been lots things in the first three games that we have been happy about, so it is all about accumulating them together and then going out and improving on them, but not dwelling on them.”

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

Thanks to Rugby People for the main image