Meet the Players | Karis Craig | Scotland Women U20

Meet the Players | Karis Craig | Scotland Women U20

Whilst Scotland Women U20 compete in the Six Nations Women’s Summer Series in Parma, Italy, get to know the stars of the future.

You can meet the rest of the team, here.

Karis Craig

Karis Craig began playing rugby at Currie Chieftains RFC in 2017 at 12-years-old, following in her brother, Adam’s, footsteps.

“My earliest memories of rugby are all based around when I would watch my brother play”, said Karis.

“I would just be on the side of the pitch, watching him do his thing. I wasn’t really all that interested when I was little but when I was moving up to high school, I decided that I wanted to give it a go.

“We started a small team at Balerno Community High School and then Currie Chieftains picked us up and it just went from there.”

Whilst Karis credits her dad and brother for sparking that initial flame of interest, she reflects on the influence that Fergus Scott, Currie’s Development Officer at the time, had on her in the early stages of her playing journey.

“Fergus taught me literally everything I know,” said Karis.

“He coached me from S1 till I left the club in S5. He was a hooker as well, so I think, without me knowing it, a lot of the things he taught me over the years have transitioned into the way that I play my rugby now.”

Whilst Karis feels the impact from those who coach her, she also considers who she looks up to as her sporting heroes, it’s unsurprising that Scotland Women stalwart, Lana Skeldon, and Elis Martin top the list.

“I always focus on Lana Skeldon any time I’m watching the national team play, it’s always eyes on her or eyes on Elis Martin. I definitely aspire to play like them. Seeing them come through the pathway like I am now is really inspiring.”

Since leaving Currie, Karis has moved on to player her senior rugby with Watsonian FC, joining the Premiership side in 2022 and went on to feature in their dramatic Sarah Beaney Cup Final fixture against Corstorphine Cougars, winning 26-25.

In the same year, Karis was selected Scotland Women U18, participating in the inaugural Six Nations Festival, hosted at Hive Stadium.

Karis said: “I played for the U18 team in 2022 and 2023. My first year was terrifying, I was so nervous but by the time it came to competing in the competition I definitely relaxed, and last year was really enjoyable for me. Through both of those years I played alongside Holland Bogan, who was invited in to train with Scotland Women, so it’s really cool to see where you can go from those experiences.”

Pictured: Holland (left) with Karis (right) for Glasgow Warriors.

The young hooker’s next step up came in the 2023/24 season when she was drafted for Glasgow Warriors in the Celtic Challenge, making five appearances.

“The Celtic Challenge was such a cool experience. The training environment was really good and I feel like I learnt loads. We had Fraser Brown as our defence coach and I feel like he helped me properly understand more about my defensive game.

“It was also really cool to play alongside and against international players and have that tough competition to learn.”

Karis has some consistency from her time at Glasgow in coach Chris Laidlaw, who took charge of the Celtic Challenge side and is now involved as an Assistant Coach for the U20 group.

“I’m really used to having Chris as a coach now, a lot of the things we worked on at Warriors applies here so I feel like I have a better depth of understanding having worked with him before.”

Now earning a spot in the squad for the Six Nations Summer Series, Karis reflects on the opportunity that lies ahead, saying: “It’s massive. All you want to do is represent your country. I think when I was about 14-years-old, I realised where this could go and I said to myself ‘I need to do this, I want to get there’. It’s such a huge opportunity and I feel so proud of myself to have this chance to do it.”

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