Celtic Challenge: Try scorers Fraser and Snailham won’t forget their Glasgow Warriors experience in a hurry

Gary Heatly

Glasgow Warriors ended their Celtic Challenge campaign winless, but Roma Fraser and Phaedra Snailham will certainly not forget the experience in a hurry.

Hillhead Jordanhill’s Fraser scored three tries in two matches recently against Brython Thunder home and away while Stewartry’s Snailham will always be in record books as the first ever Glasgow women’s try scorer in a game at Scotstoun (Louise McMillan was their first try scorer ever, away to Edinburgh Rugby).

Fraser had a big 2023 as she played for the Thistles and then the Scotland Futures – and 2024 is shaping up pretty well too.

In Colwyn Bay earlier this month, a pass went loose towards winger Fraser five metres or so inside her own half, but she controlled it with her foot, picked it up and they glided past a couple of defenders.

Things opened up for her after that and she showed great pace to go in and score under the posts. Later that same game she showed dancing feet for a second five-pointer and then, a fortnight later, a cross kick from stand-off stand-off Ceitidh Ainsworth saw her score against the same Welsh opponents at Scotstoun.

“It was an amazing feeling to score those tries, but watching them all back it just shows how much hard work the team put in to get me the ball and everything we have done here has been about the team,” the 21-year-old said.

“So, I was on the end of them – and don’t get me wrong, I love to score tries! – but they were really ream efforts and I think over the period that we have been in this programme that has been come of the great things, the way we have come together from different environments and been a real unit.”

When she was in primary school in Crieff, Fraser began playing the game and then continued it at the Community School of Auchterarder in secondary school.

“At secondary school I really got into my rugby and that was mainly down to the fact that our coach there Phil Shore was so committed to building girls rugby and giving us those opportunities,” Fraser, who is now in her final year of an immunology and pharmacology degree at Strathclyde University, stated.

“He would spend hours coaching us and then he would drive us to matches and tournaments all over, so I have a lot to thank him for.

“I then moved to Glasgow and played for Cartha Queens Park which was great fun before moving to Hillhead Jordanhill.

“In every environment I have been in over the years I have just tried to keep improving my rugby and this Glasgow experience has been great for that and I am excited for the future.

Meanwhile, Snailham’s try which came against the Wolfhounds in January is one she will not be forgetting in a hurry.

A move on the half hour mark saw Scotland cap McMillan go close on the left, and then winger Snailham showed good awareness to pick up the ball and dive over in the corner.

“I just love scoring tries, I live and breathe for scoring tries, so being the first Glasgow female player to ever score at Scotstoun is such a special thing for me,” she said.

“It meant the world for me to score that try and to know that it is history and no one can take it away from me means a lot.

“I am used to playing at centre, but I was playing on the wing in that game and, after we had gone close, I just picked the ball off the ground and managed to go over.”

Being 31 now, Snailham, who took up the game when she was studying at Glasgow University, at times thought a chance to play this level of rugby might have passed her by, but she grabbed it with both hands.

“It has been class being part of the Warriors’ programme and I was so excited to be invited to be a part of it,” she explained.

“I came into the programme as the only player from Stewartry and that meant I had to build up connections quickly, but everyone was so welcoming.

“Making the step up to this level of rugby was a challenge, but one that I am so glad I have given a go.

“I am a veterinary surgeon away from rugby, so it can be a really busy job to balance with my rugby, but I love both.

“And it has been so good to represent Stewartry, which is such a brilliant club, at this level of late.”

  • A 47-26 bonus point win over fellow Irish side Clovers in Belfast on Saturday means that Wolfhounds are the champions. The event finishes on March 3.

Thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS for the images

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