Scotland Women U20 prepare for Summer Series

Scotland Women U20 prepare for Summer Series

In May it was announced that Six Nations Rugby is introducing the first of its kind Women’s Summer Series, which will debut next month in Parma, Italy.

Running from 4-14 July 2024, the inaugural development competition will feature all Six Nations teams, and include three competitive match days, designed to offer a new opportunity for international rugby experience.

Scottish Rugby recently announced Claire Cruikshank as the U20 Head Coach, with support from Chris Laidlaw and Stuart Corsar as Assistant Coaches to the programme.

Speaking on the summer ahead, Claire Cruikshank said: “The way we are looking at the Six Nations Summer Series is that it’s a unique opportunity to develop our players. Getting the chance to play in an international tournament against opposition we haven’t faced before, it’s a really exciting opportunity.

“The trip in itself is something that will be new for us – two weeks away, three games in that period – it’s a different challenge than what we have experienced before as a group.”

The forwards are coached by Stuart Corsar.

Whilst in years gone past Scottish Rugby has fulfilled development opportunities for young talent with the Scotland Futures programme – a programme focused on the physical demands, tactical decision making, technical skill, and positive behaviours for athletes aged between 18 and 25 – the introduction of a formalised competition via the Six Nations is an engaging new platform for young and emerging talent.

“Adding this Summer Series is the next step for the progression of the Women’s game, it is something that has probably been missing for a while at this age and stage”, said Cruikshank.

“Now having that clear age-grade pathway of U18, U20 and then senior Six Nations experiences is really good. The Celtic Challenge has definitely helped fill some of that void for players in bridging the gap between the domestic game and international rugby, but from an age-grade perspective, U20 is a key part of the development programme.”

Ahead of selecting their travelling squad, players from Scottish Rugby’s female pathway – Regional Training Centres, Scottish Qualified Programme and the Celtic Challenge – have been taking part in a series of training camps to prepare for the competition.

Rhea Clarke and Nicole Marlow in action in the Scotland Women U20 camp.

Camps have included weekly and weekend training at a number of locations including Hive Stadium, Peffermill Playing Fields and Peebles RFC. This week, the squad will travel to Wales to take part in a joint-training camp against their Welsh counterparts.

Cruikshank added: “We have had some good quality time going into it with regional training opportunities, mid-week and weekend training camps. Bringing the players together to offer them to chance to gel, learn and importantly compete for a position is vital to their growth and development.”

The travelling squad will be named next week (w/c 24 June).


Italy v Scotland | 4 July, 8pm (BST)
Scotland v France | 9 July, 5.30pm (BST)
Ireland v Scotland | 14 July, 9am (BST)

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