WXV 2 build up: Exciting Scotland back three will “play without fear and will be brave” going forward, says Chloe Rollie

Gary Heatly

A lot of the talk recently has been about Scotland men’s stellar back three options for the upcoming Rugby World Cup in the shape of Duhan van der Merwe, Darcy Graham, Kyle Steyn, Blair Kinghorn and Ollie Smith.

Rightly so, but with the naming of the Scotland women’s extended 32-strong training squad this week that is building up to the Spain match at the end of September and then WXV 2 in October in South Africa, what jumped out from the page was the strength-in-depth in the back three options there too.

Chloe Rollie, Francesca McGhie, Coreen Grant and Liz Musgrove did a great job during the TikTok Women’s Six Nations earlier in the year while hybrid player Eilidh Sinclair seems to be being considered as a winger for now.

And they have been joined in the squad by Rhona Lloyd and Shona Campbell, both who were at the Rugby World Cup last year and who recently helped GB Sevens qualify for the Olympics.

With former England men’s winger Matt Banahan coming in as the new attack coach there is real excitement around the options for Scotland in the back field and how they can potentially take their attacking game to a new level in the next couple of months.

Rollie, the full-back from Jedburgh who turned 28 in the summer, is the most experienced of the group with 57 caps and she scored Scotland’s final try in the last match versus Ireland back in April.

“I am super excited by the options that we have in the backline now and in the back three especially,” she said.

“We have to play without fear and be brave going forward, that will help get us the positive results that we are wanting and we have the players there to do it.

“The talent we have in the back three is excellent, so it is just about taking that gap if we see it, making that extra pass if we think it is on and backing ourselves.

“We saw that style of play starting to come together in the Six Nations and hopefully we can take that on now.

“Some of us [in the back three group] have had full-time contracts since the end of last year it has allowed us to focus fully on our rugby and our recovery while we have seen other girls doing well at GB Sevens and younger players like Francesca have now headed down south to Premiership Women’s Rugby with Leicester Tigers.

“So, in terms of the back three players we all bring different skills and experiences to the table and that can only be a good thing.

“With leaving the Six Nations the way that we did getting two wins we are feeling confident going forward.

“Those games [versus Italy and Ireland] gave us a lot of belief. We have had our time off and our time to reset and now we have to build from here. We are fully focused on Spain and then WXV 2 and that has got our full concentration just now.”

Rollie was speaking in July on the day that Scottish Gas partnered with Scottish Rugby to help the rugby community across Scotland reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.

As part of the link up Scottish Gas are keen to drive the growth of the Scotland women’s team through shirt and stadium sponsorship as well as helping other female age-grade teams through activities over the course of the agreement.

And this is a great time to be involved with women’s sport.

“We have seen in other sports this summer that women’s sport is on the rise and with WXV coming up the interest in women’s rugby is set to keep growing,” Rollie, who suffered a collarbone injury while with Loughborough Lightning at the end of last season and has been rehabbing it diligently all summer, stated.

“With the three different WXV tournaments being played in New Zealand, South Africa and Dubai it gives us all another great chance off the back of last year’s World Cup to grow the game more and I’m sure we will be well supported in the stadiums and from afar.

“I am just looking forward to an exciting period for the Scotland squad.”

As mentioned, Scotland will be playing Spain at the newly-named Hive Stadium, formerly the DAM Health Stadium, at the end of September in Edinburgh.

WXV is the new women’s international 15s competition run by World Rugby designed to “increase the competitiveness, reach and impact of elite women’s rugby”, according to the organisers.

The three-level tournament will see 27 fixtures played across three host countries and WXV 2, Scotland’s event, is all taking place in South Africa.

They will play South Africa in Burgersdorp on October 13 , USA in Cape Town on October 20 and Japan on October 27 also in Cape Town.

Scotland extended training squad:


Leah Bartlett (Leicester Tigers)

Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning)

Sarah Bonar (Harlequins)

Elliann Clarke (Bristol Bears)

Lisa Cockburn (University of Worcester Warriors)

Eva Donaldson (Leicester Tigers)

Evie Gallagher (University of Worcester Warriors)

Jade Konkel (Harlequins)

Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning, C)

Elis Martin (Leicester Tigers)

Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks)

Louise McMillan (Saracens)

Lana Skeldon (University of Worcester Warriors)

Nikki Simpson (Garioch)

Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning)

Anne Young (Sale Sharks)


Beth Blacklock (Saracens)

Shona Campbell (GB Sevens)

Coreen Grant (Saracens)

Caity Mattinson (University of Worcester Warriors)

Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning)

Mairi McDonald (Exeter Chiefs)

Francesca McGhie (Leicester Tigers)

Holly McIntyre (University of Edinburgh)

Rhona Lloyd (GB Sevens/Les Lionnes du Stade Bordelais)

Liz Musgrove (Ealing Trailfinders)

Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning,V-C)

Emma Orr (Heriots/Biggar)

Chloe Rollie (Loughborough Lightning)

Eilidh Sinclair (Exeter Chiefs)

Meryl Smith (Bristol Bears)

Lisa Thomson (GB Sevens)

Match tickets are on sale now for the Spain Test at Hive Stadium on September 30 at 5.45pm, click here to secure some…

Keep an eye out on GH Media’s channels for Scotland women’s coverage up to and through to the end of WXV 2 in October…

Chloe Rollie is pictured training by Scottish Rugby/Jim Parsons