Chloe humbled by home support
“I think the energy that a home crowd gives can be a real boost and is one of the main reasons why I perform the way I do.”
It’s a simple message, but one which highlights how much Chloe Rollie appreciates the backing she and her Scotland team-mates receive when running out to represent their country. Such words suggest any personal recognition is a result of a collective, both as a squad and the from those in the stands.
Prolific try-scorer, line-breaker and opportunity-maker are just some of the descriptions that lend themselves to Scotland’s flying full-back, who made a series of telling contributions throughout this year’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations.
Rollie’s efforts during the competition certainly didn’t go unnoticed, with BBC commentator Sara Orchard saying: “She just cut through that defence like it was her favourite cake! It was probably chocolate. It was delicious!” during Rollie’s sublime try against Wales in March which earned her the tournament’s Try of the Round award.
That wasn’t the only accolade that Rollie claimed over the course of the championship, with the Scotland stalwart defeating the most defenders in the competition (41), while ranking second for metres gained (441m), behind only Abby Dow, as well as crossing for three tries, ultimately earning her place on Opta’s Team of the Tournament.
But for the Jedburgh-born player, her focus was fully on the job at hand, of trying to win games for Scotland. “Individually, I felt like I was quite on my game but didn’t fully notice it until towards the end of the tournament when some of the stats kept popping up [on social] that I realised that I was doing well in some of my performances,” she explained.
“Sometimes I’m quite hard on myself but I didn’t feel like I was doing that during the Six Nations. I was so focused on turning up for each game and putting in my best performance.
“I think from breaking my arm at the Rugby World Cup, I felt like I had a lot to prove and a lot to show this year and I didn’t really get to do that in New Zealand which was frustrating for me because you want to be able to show what you are capable of on the world stage.
“When that injury happened, I told myself that I was going to come back stronger, fitter, faster and I felt like that’s exactly what I did.
“It was so surreal to see how many defenders I had beaten during the tournament and to see me getting Try of the Round during the competition, especially when you compare it to the likes of Abby Dow, so it’s nice to be able to show what I’m capable of doing.”
The 28-year-old has made 57 appearances for the national side, amassing 18 tries over the course of her international career so far, and has recently developed her role away from the pitch.
She said: “I think it has changed in ways as I’m getting involved more in attack groups and with the younger wingers coming in such as Francesca [McGhie], it’s important to make sure she’s okay and help her understand her role.
“I think I’m more of a leader in my position and in the backs whereas before I would turn up and just be told what to do and how to play but it is now more about getting people ready for that next phase of when some of the senior players are at the tail-end of their careers and starting to retire.”
Rollie’s performances on the international stage have garnered an ever-growing support, which she cites as key source of inspiration and driving factor in her career.
She continued: “One of the main interactions that has stood out for me is that I’ve got a wee fan called Chloe as well and she would travel to come to games with her family and keep in touch with me on social media. She turned up to one of our games with ‘Chloe’ and ’15’ on her back and for me that was huge.
“A couple of years ago I’d have never expected that and it was always a bit of a dream to have that kind of support. Another favourite memory was when I met a girl during the Six Nations that was caught on video and she was just so excited to tell me about her day.
“To see all these people come along to the game to watch you perform, it’s really special and brings you back to reality sometimes. We are there to do a job but to also try and inspire young girls and boys to pick up a rugby ball.”
With Rollie due to run out in front of a home crowd at Hive Stadium this weekend in the Autumn Test match against Spain, the full-back has called on supporters to get behind the team and she emphasised how a vocal support is a motivating factor for the squad.
“Catching the ball and doing your job is cool but when you’ve got a crowd behind you and cheering you on when you are either making a break or setting someone up for a score, it gives you a push to make you perform well and make every moment count.
“The massive roar that happens at Hive Stadium is a huge motivating factor and gives me a lot of energy. It would be great to see as many people along to the stadium this Saturday to cheer us on!”
You can catch Chloe and the Scotland team in action this weekend as match tickets remain on sale, with great family-friendly prices starting at £16.50 (adults), £11.50 (students) £6.50 (U18s) and U12s only £1.50 with a paying adult (T&Cs apply). All prices are inclusive of booking fees. Don’t waste any time and support your Scotland team in their last home game of 2023, click HERE for tickets.