WXV 2: “We trust in the process and we trust in each other,” says Scotland’s Rachel McLachlan

Gary Heatly

Back-rower Rachel McLachan believes the “great calmness out there on the pitch” has helped Scotland in their recent victories and they want to keep the winning run going against USA on Friday.

Going into the second round of three weeks of WXV 2 fixtures, Scotland are top of the six-team table on points difference from Italy and USA.

Scotland beat South Africa with a bonus point 31-17 in Stellenbosch last Friday with USA defeating Samoa 36-26 with a bonus point at the same Danie Craven Stadium a day later.

Italy play South Africa at 3.30pm UK time on Friday, but before that (1pm UK time, live on RugbyPass TV) ninth in the world Scotland take on the seventh-ranked Americans at the Athlone Sports Stadium in Cape Town.

Should Scotland win this intriguing clash it would be five victories in a row following on from triumphs against Italy and Ireland in the Six Nations, Spain in a warm up game and South Africa.

During that run there have been testing times where opponents have led or come back into things and it happened again versus South Africa, but the Scotland squad had the tools to deal with it.

“We are showing great calmness out there on the pitch now and a massive part of that is belief,” McLachlan, the 24-year-old of Sale Sharks who will be winning her 39th cap here, explained.

“We have been in a few situations where we have been up against it, but there has been a shift now and we are starting to win those games.

“I think that confidence is massive when trickier situations arise in games, you just have to keep your head and keep doing what we want to do. We trust in the process and we trust in each other and that has been key to our recent run of good results.”

The back-row unit of McLachlan, skipper Rachel Malcolm and No.8 Evie Gallagher has played so well of late that fit-again Jade Konkel, who has 60 caps, is having to make do with a bench spot for now.

However, she’ll have an important role to play against USA and McLachlan feels the quartet are bringing the best out in each other.

“We love working together as a group of back-rows,” the number seven said.

“We all bring very different things and different skill sets to the table, but that is good because we can compliment each other and also learn from each other.

“Everyone in the whole squad is gelling so well, we are genuinely best friends here and we are just having a good time and are really focused on the USA game.

“There are not many better places to be than in South Africa playing rugby with your mates, so we are just embracing the whole experience and we are growing all the time.”

Head coach Bryan Easson has been able to name an unchanged 23 from the last outing for this one.

The third WXV 2 game in the coming days is Japan-Samoa on Saturday at 3pm UK time.

Scotland versus USA: Chloe Rollie; Rhona Lloyd, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson, Francesca McGhie; Helen Nelson, Mairi McDonald; Leah Bartlett, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Louise McMillan, Rachel Malcolm (C), Rachel McLachlan, Evie Gallagher. Subs: Elis Martin, Anne Young, Lisa Cockburn, Eva Donaldson, Jade Konkel, Caity Mattinson, Meryl Smith, Liz Musgrove.

Scotland versus USA will be live here on Friday at 1pm UK time

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

Thanks to Scottish Rugby for the image of Rachel McLachlan