U20 6N WSS: Six takeaways, a Summer-y of the Scots’ Summer Series

Gary Heatly

The Scotland squad and backroom staff are back home now after their under-20 Six Nations Women’s Summer Series exertions in Italy.

After losses to Italy (17-13), France (69-10) and Ireland (37-7) here are six takeaways from watching the action from Parma unfold from afar…

Six takeaways, a Summer-y of the Scots’ Summer Series

  • Scotland needed just a bit more self belief: In young players, especially away from home, confidence can be something that takes time to come through. Against Italy in the opening game the team played well, but needed to show more of that collective confidence and to be a bit more clinical when their chances came. We hear a lot in sport about ‘being brave’ and it will come for these players as they get more rugby under their belts at a good level.

  • Injuries certainly hurt the squad: Three games in such a short space of time and in the heat was always going to be a test at the end of a long, hard season. Nicole Flynn, Leia Brebner-Holden and Merryn Gunderson, all key players, picked up injuries versus Italy, Chloe Brown, Ellie Williamson, Molly Poolman and Eilish Fleming went off resulting in playing with 14 and non-contested scrums for 28 minutes and playmaker Ceitidh Ainsworth was forced off versus Ireland.

  • There is some pace coming up through the ranks: Scotland are well-stocked in terms of senior wingers just now, but we saw enough here to suggest that, in time, co-captain Hannah Walker and Sky Phimister could push on. They are strong on the edge just now and maybe just need a bit more of the self belief mentioned above while their next ‘work ons’ will be defence and getting off their wing and onto the ball more centrally, but there is definitely promise there while outside centre Flynn, having already sat on the full bench, is an exciting talent too.

  • Propping up: In the men’s under-20 World Rugby Trophy which is ongoing in Edinburgh it has been good to see 18-year-old tighthead prop Ollie Blyth-Lafferty. In the Celtic Challenge and, at times, in Italy the likes of co-captain Poppy Fletcher and Chloe Brown on the loosehead side and Molly Poolman and Eilidh Fleming on the tighthead side – with young Poppy Clarkson coming up the ranks too – have shown promise and their talents must be nurtured as you can never have too many props.

  • The Bogan and Logan show: Having one letter different in their surnames makes it easy to remember Holland Bogan and Natasha Logan right enough, but their performances in the second-row also make you remember them. They carry hard, tackle well and are just generally a nuisance for the opposition in attack and defence, just as any good number four and fives should be.

  • Hyland-er: Megan Hyland spoke to the press before the tournament and she came across as an enthusiastic, positive and driven person. The Garioch player certainly put in enthusiastic, positive and driven performances in starting all of the games at No.8 and, as someone who is learning to play hooker too, it will be worth keeping an eye on her because she is one to watch. She is not the biggest, but she never takes a backwards step and seems to have an old head on young shoulders.

Scotland squad


Aila Ronald (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)

Chloe Brown (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

Ellie Williamson (West of Scotland/Glasgow Warriors)

Eilidh Fleming (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

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

Holland Bogan (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

Karis Craig (Watsonian FC/Glasgow Warriors)

Lauryn Walter (Brunel University/Ealing Trailfinders)

Lucy Christie (Newcastle University)

Merryn Gunderson (Corstorphine Cougars/Edinburgh Rugby)

Megan Hyland (Garioch/Glasgow Warriors)

Molly Poolman (Watsonian FC/Edinburgh Rugby)

Natasha Logan (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)

Poppy Fletcher (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)

Poppy Clarkson (Biggar)

Samaanther Taganekurukuru (Stirling County/Edinburgh Rugby)

Talei Tawake (Watsonian FC)


Ami Conchie (Watsonian FC/Edinburgh Rugby)

Ceitidh Ainsworth (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

Hannah Walker (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)

Hannah Ramsay (Unattached/Edinburgh Rugby)

Isobel McGuire-Evans (Sale Sharks/Glasgow Warriors)

Leia Brebner-Holden (Gloucester Hartpury/Edinburgh Rugby)

Lucia Scott (Hartpury University/Gloucester Hartpury)

Lucy MacRae (University of Edinburgh/Glasgow Warriors)

Nicole Marlow (Cardiff Metropolitan University/Edinburgh Rugby)

Nicole Flynn (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)

Rebekah Douglas (Corstorphine Cougars/Glasgow Warriors)

Rhea Clarke (University of Edinburgh/Glasgow Warriors)

Sky Phimister (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

Scotland are pictured lining up for the national anthem, thanks to Scottish Rugby for the image

GH Media’s coverage of the the under-20 Six Nations Women’s Summer Series has come to an end, hopefully you have enjoyed the content

Thanks to those who made this possible and if any companies/individuals are keen to support this work too, please email gary@gh-media.co.uk