Welcome to our Match Guide to today’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations match between Scotland and Wales at DAM Health Stadium, kick-off 5:30pm. Here, you’ll find exclusive content from camp, as well as the team news and stats for this second round of fixtures.
What you'll find & where
Setting The Scene
Today’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations match will be the third time in a year that Scotland and Wales have met, with last season’s championship tie in Cardiff and the sides’ Rugby World Cup encounter having ended narrowly in Welsh favour.
That Cardiff Arms Park game saw Scotland fly out of the blocks, earning a 14-7 interval lead thanks to tries from Lana Skeldon and Rhona Lloyd, with Helen Nelson converting both.
Lloyd’s second score stretched the visitors’ lead, only for Wales to launch a comeback that would ultimately end with Ffion Lewis scoring late on to clinch a 24-19 win.
At the rescheduled Rugby World Cup in New Zealand some six months later, the sides met in a Pool A opener that was every bit as close as their previous battle.
Megan Gaffney’s late try – her second of the match – had tied the scores at 15 apiece with the game all but done, only for Keira Bevan to snatch a last-gasp victory for Wales, her penalty goal the final act of an engrossing contest.
There are reasons for Scottish optimism, though. The last time they hosted the fixture, during the 2021 Women’s Six Nations, tries from Gaffney, Megan Kennedy, Evie Gallagher and Christine Beslisle, with a further seven points from the boot of Helen Nelson, resulted in a 27-20 home success.
Thoughts from the Head Coach
“We talked last week about brave and courage mindset that we have, and that comes down to us as coaches as well to be brave and courageous around our substitutions, because we are building a good group here. There’s 23 against England and we’ve got 30 players who come in and train through the week to give us real good preparation, 15 on 15 and everybody within this group from the 15 up to 30 is really really pushing. So, we felt it was a real good opportunity for these players to get good gametime against England. I think that showed in the last 10 mins, in the energy that they brought, and it has made it easy for us to just keep that same 23.
“The first thing we said on Monday was “look last week against England, against the best team in the world, what made you proud? What did you take from last week? What were the real positives?” rather than looking at anything else. We’ve really looked at the positives from last week and really looked at what we can and what we know about Wales, but we’re still down the 80/20 route. 80% us and 20% Wales and we are really concentrating on ourselves. That’s been the big focus. Concentrating on what we have done and concentrating on what we are good at, and we will go after that.
“DAM Health is a brilliant venue, it really is great to be home. It’s our ground. When you’re at home that is when you throw in the performances that your home crowd can be proud of. The atmosphere is always outstanding. I know the ticket sales are tracking really well and we really want to make it a feel-good venue for us, but difficult for any opposition coming.”
Welcome on behalf of SP Energy Networks
On behalf of SP Energy Networks, I’d like to offer you a very warm welcome in supporting Scotland Women in this year’s TikTok Six Nations.
It is with great pride I reminisce about the past five years and celebrate our many accomplishments during our partnership with Scottish Rugby which has enabled us to challenge perceptions, break barriers and promote inclusion through grassroots rugby.
Since our ground-breaking launch of our partnership in 2018, we have delivered several initiatives
that have brought many direct benefits to our communities, particularly enabling us to promote our Priority Service Register to those who need additional support in a power cut.
Our campaign #Notjustforboys has had a positive impact, and our recent Science of Rugby campaign has received many external plaudits. Successful social media content series, including Powering Conversations and ‘Moments that Made Me’ has allowed players to tell the stories of their careers and build authentic connections beyond the pitch with fans and communities, proving that rugby, like engineering, can be a career route for everyone.
Our partnership also extends to Scotland’s U18s and U20s boy’s teams and with the development and rollout of a female coaching programme this year, it underlines our commitment to grassroots rugby.
During our tenure, it has been great to see the team go from strength to strength, notably the team reaching their first Rugby World Cup in 12 years and more recently 28 players receiving full-time contracts, all pointing to further future success.
I’ve only managed to reflect on a small fraction of all that has been achieved over the past 5 years but even this shows the sheer drive and dedication that exists within Scottish Rugby. And on that note, I wish Scotland Women a triumphant and successful TikTok Six Nations.
CEO, SP Energy Networks
Interview: Coreen on write path with Scotland
Coreen Grant is ready to scribe a few new chapters in Scotland’s story, as part of a fresh group of players coming through with the aim of further progressing the trajectory our national team is on.
Away from her time as an international athlete, the Saracens back spends much of her free time scribbling the written word, particularly on the natural world and conservation. Evenings in camp offer the opportunity to work on copy for Inkcap Journal, for whom she writes, offering a cerebral escape during the quiet times of a busy international campaign.
The 25-year-old, who was part of the Rugby World Cup squad who travelled to New Zealand last year, says that now is the time for Scotland to ensure such qualifications are the norm rather than a happy occurrence.
“In many ways it’s a new cycle,” the Saracens winger said. “It feels like there’s been a break since the World Cup, so I think coming together as this squad offers a really exciting mix. We’ve got some young talent coming through which adds that spark, that desire, but also new thoughts about how we go about things.
“Alongside people who have been a part of it for a long time and have that wealth of experience, I think going through this tournament is about building and connecting together.”
That connection that Coreen alludes will be aided, in part, by the fact that 28 Scotland Women players now have professional contracts to their name, allowing for better preparation ahead of international action.
“Personally, it’s made a huge difference since we came back from the World Cup,” Coreen explained. “Prior to that, I was working a full-time job, trying to do freelance writing, which is something I want to continue long-term, and then training with Saracens, commuting from my job, so it was really full-on.
“It’s not necessarily the training elements that suffer, but all the other small things like your sleeping, nutrition, recovery, analysis. All those things that are not seen on the pitch but help to make the end product. So I think since then it’s giving us an opportunity to optimise our tools and be the best players we can be.”
Having down-time is another facet of being able to switch off when needed and away from rugby, Coreen’s passion for writing is the perfect pastime: “I love it. I’m in the environmental journalism sphere. I’m very passionate about the outdoors, nature and conservation, so it’s a nice balance to have something else to focus on aside from rugby.”
Having impressed throughout the current season with her club Saracens and having earned a first start in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations last weekend against England, Coreen will be hoping that her own Scotland story has plenty of exciting narrative to be compiled in the years to come.
Getting to Know: Francesca McGhie
1. Tell us a bit about your rugby journey: “I started rugby in 2018 when I was 15 or 16. I saw an ad on a Facebook page for East Lothian and Borders Girls, based at Preston Lodge. I just went along, I’d always played team sports and danced, but was edging away from that to try something new. I was there for a year or so, moved to Watsonians in 2019 – I was too young to play for them! – but just to train and learn from them was great. I went to uni at Northumbria, then came back and played for Watsonians fully. My first game was the semi and then final of the Premiership, then Futures v England under-20s, before playing for The Thistles, and now I’m here! My brother [Kyle McGhie] played under-20s so we’ve always loved it as a family.”
2. Who would be your rugby inspirations to this point? “My brother and my parents. I change my mind a lot but they always back me to go after whatever I do. Some of my friends in the rugby set-up are super inspirational to me as well. It’s always nice to have people in a similar situation to you.”
3. Which player would you love to play with, or against? “I think Sarah Hunter. I’m glad on Saturday she played [in that opening fixture at Kinston Park], her last game. She’s won 140 caps, which is crazy. That’s at the top, men and women, so definitely her. To play against or with, she’s an inspiration and has had a lifetime of dedication to rugby.”
4. What’s your least favourite training drill? “Does fitness count?! If I’ve got a ball in my hands, then I feel like I’ve got something to do, but not just plain fitness. In the gym I can see improvements and always feel better even if it’s gone not so well or a couldn’t finish a set – it feels better than completing a Bronco!”
5. What position would you like to play if not a winger? “I’d definitely go back row, like No 8. It’s not too dissimilar, and my Dad played there. He said I should try and do the same but my Mum was like ‘no, nowhere near the scrums!’, so I’ve got as far away from that as possible!
6. Favourite cheat meal on a day off? “That’s a good one. Pretty boring but I’d pick pizza. I’m a Plain Jane; Margherita.”
7. Are there any other sports you’d love to have a go at? “I think practically hockey would be the closest but I feel like a random sport like Skeleton or something – just completely different.”
8. Matchday Playlists – what are you listening to at the moment? “I don’t listen to really motivational stuff. I love a bit of Taylor Swift on game day, so just 2010s throwback songs really!”
- Each of the last five Championship games between Scotland and Wales have been decided by margins of just seven points or fewer, including two by a single point.
- Wales won their opening match of the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations (31-5 v Ireland) after losing their last three of the 2022 campaign; they will be aiming to win their opening two matches of the campaign for the first time since 2015 (v England and Scotland).
- Scotland had the highest carry dominance rate of any side in the opening round of this year’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations (50%) and also opted to exit their own 22 via carries more frequently than any other side last time out (67%).
- Scotland’s Chloe Rollie was one of just two players to gain 100+ metres via carries in the opening round of this year’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations (109m), alongside England’s Claudia MacDonald.