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U20 6N WSS: “This tournament is hugely exciting, these experiences are so valuable,”says Laidlaw

Gary Heatly

Scotland play their second match in the under-20 Six Nations Women’s Summer Series against top dogs France in Italy on Tuesday and it is a chance for this group of players to pit themselves against the best.

Last Thursday, Scotland played some positive attacking rugby and battled back from behind to take a half-time lead in their opening game versus the hosts in the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma.

However, they could not add to their tally and a 61st minute unconverted try gave the Italians a 17-13 win.

It was a well-contested game, but this second game will be a very stiff test for Scotland are France are regarded as the standard bearers in women’s age-grade rugby and thumped Wales in round one.

Assistant coach Chris Laidlaw said:  “These are the kinds of games that you relish as coaches and as players.

“We know that France are a very good side, but we have been working on a few things since the Italy game and want to go out there and show what we are all about.

“This tournament is hugely exciting. For the players to have this exposure – three match days against high-quality international opposition in a short period of time – you can’t replicate that.

“Hopefully the tournament stands those guys in good stead, especially the ones who are going to go through to WXV 2 later this year [with the full squad] or a Rugby World Cup in 2025 and 2029. These experiences are so valuable.

“The players have really bought into the ability to recover and reflect quickly post-Italy. The challenge for everyone now is to go out and apply those learnings in the next game. That’s massively exciting for the girls’ growth and development.”

Hannah Walker, the co-captain, said:  “We are really enjoying this experience.

“We had time to analyse the Italy game and then look ahead to France and its so exciting for us getting to play at this level and play three matches in a short space of time.

“Against Italy we created quite a few chances and we just needed to be a bit more clinical. We know France’s strengths, but we will look to take our own game to them.”

Head coach Claire Cruikshank has made nine chances to the starting XV for the France game which starts at 5.30pm UK time.

Scotland play Ireland on July 14 at 9am UK time in their final match.

The Scottish fixtures will be available to watch via scottishrugby.org, with all remaining matches available on the Six Nations Rugby YouTube channels.

Scotland matchday 23 to play France

15. Izzy McGuire-Evans (Sale Sharks/Glasgow Warriors)

14. Sky Phimister (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

13. Lucia Scott (Hartpury University/Gloucester Hartpury)

12. Lucy MacRae (University of Edinburgh/Glasgow Warriors)

11. Hannah Walker (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby, C-C)

10. Hannah Ramsay (Unattached/Edinburgh Rugby)

9. Rhea Clarke (University of Edinburgh/Glasgow Warriors)

1. Chloe Brown (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

2. Karis Craig (Watsonian FC/Glasgow Warriors)

3. Molly Poolman (Watsonian FC/Edinburgh Rugby)

4. Ellie Williamson (West of Scotland/Glasgow Warriors)

5. Natasha Logan (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)

6. Gemma Bell (Hartpury University/Gloucester Hartpury/Edinburgh Rugby)

7. Samaanther Taganekurukuru (Stirling County/Edinburgh Rugby)

8. Megan Hyland (Garioch/Glasgow Warriors)

Subs

16. Aila Ronald (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)

17. Poppy Fletcher (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby, C-C)

18. Eilidh Fleming (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

19. Holland Bogan (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

20. Lauryn Walter (Brunel University/Ealing Trailfinders)

21. Rebekah Douglas (Corstorphine Cougars/Glasgow Warriors)

22. Ceitidh Ainsworth (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

23. Ami Conchie (Watsonian FC/Edinburgh Rugby)

Chris Laidlaw is pictured, thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS for the image

During the under-20 Six Nations Women’s Summer Series period through July, GH Media will be covering all aspects of the tournament…

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