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Women’s 6N: “We had her in our hearts, she was an incredible person” – emotional Scotland win dedicated to Pauline

Gary Heatly

Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm has dedicated Saturday’s Guinness Women’s Six Nations win in Italy to team mate Emma Wassell’s mother Pauline after she passed away.

Wassell, the second-row who has 66 caps to her name, has missed the recent games against England and the Italians after the sad news regarding her mum.

The 29-year-old visited her team mates in camp in Edinburgh a few days ago before the round four match and, as a mark of respect, there was a moment of silence before kick-off in Parma and the visiting players wore black armbands in Pauline’s memory.

At the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, in a tight contest the sides were level at 7-7 after 40 minutes – player of the match Lana Skeldon with Scotland’s try, converted by stand-off Helen Nelson – before second half tries from centre Emma Orr and full-back Chloe Rollie got them over the line 17-10.

Rollie was red carded post-match after a bunker review following a late yellow card, but this was Scotland’s first win in Italy since 1999 and leaves them in pole position to finish in third place in the standings.

“It was a very emotional day, we are a tight knit group as I am sure everyone is aware,” back-row Malcolm said.

“Emma is my best friend as well as a team mate so Pauline’s passing is a loss that is felt by us all.

“Pauline was ever present in our lives, she was an amazing supporter of this team and an incredible mum to Emma, indeed she was an incredible person.

“We didn’t want to focus on it too much on the day because obviously that could have taken us over the edge emotionally, but we had her in our hearts and we wanted to go out and do Emma proud and do Pauline proud and I think we did that.”

Announcing the news of Pauline’s passing on social media during the week, Wassell wrote:  “It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news on the loss of my incredible mum.

“She raised me and my brother herself on very little, but she showered us with love, encouragement and kindness every single day. She was brave, loyal, caring and unbearably proud. She brought warmth wherever she went and was never truly happy unless she was helping someone else.

“She had a mind of her own, but a heart of pure gold. She will never know how many lives she made better just by being in them.

“There are no words that can justify the pain of losing our mum so suddenly, but we will always celebrate the beautiful memories and impact she had on us all.

“Your thoughts and prayers are deeply appreciated during this difficult time.

“Rest peacefully mum.”

Pauline is pictured with Emma in the main image

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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