Rhona paints a picture of the future

Rhona paints a picture of the future

From drawing herself in a Scotland top during high school to representing her country on the international stage, Rhona Lloyd's journey in rugby is not just about personal achievement, but about inspiring the next generation of players.

As a Scotland Women international, Lloyd’s passion for the game and her dedication to its growth are evident in every word she speaks.


“I guess I knew I wanted to play for Scotland even from high school. In first year, we had to draw a self-portrait, and I drew myself in a Scotland top,” the winger reminisces, highlighting the ambition that has fuelled her career from the very beginning.

Lloyd’s development has a remarkable sense of symmetry. She will take to the field during the Guinness Women’s Six Nations at Hive Stadium, which has been constructed on the pitches in the grounds of the Murrayfield campus where she first played for Murrayfield Wanderers.


“This place means so much to me, this was literally where I first started rugby,” she recalls fondly. Rhona emphasises the importance of the inclusive environments that rugby provides, where players of all backgrounds can come together, learn and grow, with role models in plain sight.


“Having a huge Emma Orr and Emma Wassell there [on the side of Scottish Gas Murrayfield], a big Eva Donaldson up at the front gate; just none of that was there before. Women’s rugby was happening here, but it wasn’t promoted in the same way it was and it wasn’t that accessible, really. I definitely didn’t see any of it growing up.”


For Lloyd, rugby isn’t just about competition; it’s about community and personal development, as she explains: “Even if you’re only playing at the community game, you just have so many opportunities to learn about yourself, to grow as a person, to make friends, to travel.”


And it is this sense of community and inclusivity that drives her to push for the continual growth of the game.


“I think women’s rugby is at this incredible point and I’m so excited to see where it goes,” Lloyd declares with optimism, reflecting on the rapid progress the sport has made in recent years. Her passion for inspiring the next generation is evident: “My ‘why’ has always been to kind of inspire the next generation.”


The announcement in December 2022 that Scotland were to award professional contracts to 28 women was monumental for Rhona and her contemporaries: “It was actually huge the day that we all had a Zoom call and the information was: we’re going to go professional,” she recalls. This transition not only validates the hard work and dedication of players but also opens doors for aspiring young athletes.


Professionalism comes with it the potential to inspire a new wave of players, as Scotland’s 48-times capped Lloyd explains: “It’s a really realistic option for them to say, ‘when I grow up, I want to be a professional rugby player.”


As the women’s game continues to grow, Lloyd eagerly anticipates the day when Hive Stadium will be sold out for a Scotland Women’s match, with such a feat in the offing sooner rather than later: “That’s going to be a pretty emotional day if we do [sell out Hive Stadium]. We love playing at home, and to be able to do that in front of a record-breaking crowd is going to be absolutely massive.”


In Rhona Lloyd, Scottish women’s rugby has found not just a superstar, but a passionate advocate for growth, inclusivity, and the empowerment of future generations. Her journey from drawing herself in a Scotland top to representing her country symbolises the dreams and aspirations of countless young girls who now see a path to their own success in the sport. As she continues to inspire and push the boundaries of what is possible, the future of women’s rugby in Scotland looks brighter than ever before.

Pictured: Rhona with her former teacher, Mark Connell 

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