Women’s 6N: “This campaign can be the catalyst for Scotland to really push on to the next level,” says Donna Kennedy

Gary Heatly

Excitement is building ahead of Scotland’s Guinness Women’s Six Nations campaign – and no one is more excited than Donna Kennedy.

That is because, despite six Test wins on the spin, Scotland’s record cap holder, who now runs 115 Coaching and is a performance coach, believes there is a lot more to come from the current crop.

She spoke about this and a lot more at an event on Wednesday as Scottish Gas, official partner of Scotland Women, unveiled a series of sustainable statues in Edinburgh to celebrate the trailblazers of women’s rugby in Scotland ahead of the Six Nations….

Donna Kennedy on… the current Scotland squad

“The performances of the team have been getting better and better and better.

“I presented the jerseys to the players during the last Six Nations and it was a true honour for me to do that. The current players are inspirational athletes and they are really pushing forward the women’s game.

“I think this campaign for Scotland can be the catalyst for them to really push on to the next level. I think by the time the World Cup comes around next year they can be pushing for top six in the standings in the word if they continue to grow and have believe in themselves.

“I know the Scottish Rugby strategy has targeted top eight by then, but I really think we can push on higher if everyone is pulling in the same direction.

“They are more than capable of winning this weekend in Wales. Their game has really been progressing in attack and defence and they have try scorers in that squad. They just need to believe in themselves.”

Donna Kennedy on… fellow Biggar product Emma Orr

“I am so proud of what Emma has done, the pride thar comes with watching someone else who has come out of Biggar doing what she is doing is amazing.

“There is a Lions tour coming up in 2027 and she will be in that squad, she is that good already at 20 and she is only going to get better.

“Her skillset and mentality is brilliant.”

Donna Kennedy on… exciting players Francesca McGhie and Evie Gallagher

“Fran has got a great chance as well [of making the British & Irish Lions]. I hadn’t seen her live before, but when I saw her in last year’s Six Nations I was blown away.

“The speed of her and her footwork is just phenomenal.

“Evie is a phenomenal player. When she was at Worcester I did some back-row coaching sessions and I thought the potential and the skillset there was absolutely phenomenal.

“She has grown since then and she is going to go a long way.”

Donna Kennedy on… Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm

“Rachel is an excellent captain and an excellent leader.

“You can see by the way the squad interact that she has the respect of each and every team mate and that is a great starting point for any leader.

“Where she goes, they follow and there seems a great spirit and work ethic in the group.”

Donna Kennedy on… the continuing growth of women’s rugby and sport

“When you look back to 1993 when Scottish women’s international rugby started to where it is now it is night and day.

“Women’s sport in general is night and day, but let’s not stop there, there is still a bit to go and women’s sport can just keep growing and growing, we are on a good journey.

“Phases of progress in sport are like phases of play in a match, everything evolves and takes time, but now we are in a great phase for women’s rugby in this country and we have to keep building on that and really grab things with both hands.

“The platform is there, now we need to get the foot on the pedal and accelerate things.”

Donna Kennedy on… seeing a statue of herself

“It is pretty surreal, when you actually see a statue of yourself and you are called a trailblazer it takes some getting used to because I never saw myself as that when I was playing, I was just representing my country to the best of my ability.”

The statues that went up in midweek, made from 100% recycled plastics, tell the stories of Donna Kennedy as well as current stars Lisa Thomson and Francesca McGhie who are inspiring young girls to follow in their footsteps.

They have been created by state-of-the-art 3D printing technology using recycled plastics intercepted from industrial waste destined for marine environments or landfill.

They will remain in Castle Street until this Friday evening before being transported to the Hive Stadium, where they will be on display ahead of the Scotland’s two home Six Nations fixtures against France and England on March 30 and April 13 respectively.

Thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS for the image of the statues and the image of Emma Orr

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…

Thanks to those who have made this possible and if any companies/individuals are keen to support this work too, please email gary@gh-media.co.uk