Nelson to make 50th appearance for Scotland

Nelson to make 50th appearance for Scotland

Scotland Women Head Coach Bryan Easson has named his side to face Italy in the fourth round of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations championship at DAM Health Stadium (Saturday 22 April, kick-off 4.45pm) – live on BBC Scotland.

Stand-off Helen Nelson is due to make her 50th appearance this weekend, having made her debut against France at Broadwood during the 2016 Women’s Six Nations.
Nelson is joined at half-back by Mairi McDonald, who comes in for her first start of the championship at scrum-half. 
Lisa Thomson moves to outside centre to accommodate Meryl Smith inside, with a back three containing wingers Francesca McGhie and Coreen Grant, as Chloe Rollie is once more named at full-back. 
In the pack, Konkel-Roberts partners Louise McMillan in the second row, with Evie Gallagher moving to No 8 and Rachel McLachlan coming in at openside flanker, with captain Rachel Malcolm on the openside. 
An unchanged front row for the fourth successive championship fixture sees hooker Lana Skeldon lining up alongside loosehead prop Leah Bartlett and tighthead Christine Beslisle. 
The replacements, formed of five forwards and three backs, include front row cover in the shape of Jodie Rettie, Anne Young and Elliann Clarke, with Eva Donaldson and Eilidh Sinclair also selected as pack options. 
Caity Mattinson, Beth Blacklock and Liz Musgrove complete the 23-player selection. 
Easson said: “We’ve made a couple of changes following the game against France as there is an opportunity for us to shake it up a little bit.
“One of the changes is bringing Jade Konkel-Roberts into the second-row. She returned to the team last weekend and she worked incredibly hard in the 45 minutes that she played so bringing her into that position this weekend gives us an extra ball carrying option.
“Emma Orr sustained a concussion in France last weekend so we’ve moved Lisa Thomson to outside centre and brought Meryl Smith off the bench to partner her in the midfield.
“It’s a really exciting back division this weekend and we are looking forward to seeing what they can produce.
“Clearly we are not happy with the result last weekend and there are one or two aspects we are looking to tighten up on but the squad have worked really hard to get back into the mindset of preparing for the next match in quite a tight turnaround. 
“We are aware Italy play quite like France in terms of that open, expansive attacking style of play so we’ve looked at a couple of areas to combat that.”

Speaking on Nelson’s potential 50th cap, Easson said: “She’s a great person on and off the field. She speaks well, she’s well respected within the group and on the field she is a calm head.

“She brings a lot to this team and it’s a real good thing for her to get her 50th.”

Tickets for Saturday’s match against Italy at DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh are available here. Secure your tickets and get along to support the team! U12s go free with a paying adult at just £15 until match day. Booking fees apply.

Scotland team to face Italy in the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations (kick-off 4.45pm) – live on BBC Scotland

15. Chloe Rollie (Loughborough Lightning) – 55 caps

14. Coreen Grant (Saracens) – 4 caps
13. Lisa Thomson (GB 7s) – 50 caps
12. Meryl Smith (University of Edinburgh) – 7 caps
11. Francesca McGhie (Watsonians) – 3 caps

10. Helen Nelson VICE-CAPTAIN (Loughborough Lightning) – 49 caps
9. Mairi McDonald (Exeter Chiefs) – 12 caps

1. Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning) – 24 caps
2. Lana Skeldon (Worcester Warriors) – 60 caps
3. Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning) – 24 caps
4. Jade Konkel-Roberts (Harlequins) – 57 caps
5. Louise McMillan (Saracens) – 42 caps
6. Rachel Malcolm CAPTAIN (Loughborough Lightning) – 36 caps
7. Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks) – 34 caps
8. Evie Gallagher (Worcester Warriors) – 16 caps


16. Jodie Rettie (Saracens) – 23 caps
17. Anne Young (Sale Sharks) – 5 caps
18. Elliann Clarke (University of Edinburgh) – 5 caps
19. Eva Donaldson (University of Edinburgh) – 3 caps
20. Eilidh Sinclair (Exeter Chiefs) – 21 caps
21. Caity Mattinson (Worcester Warriors) – 12 caps
22. Beth Blacklock (Harlequins) – 2 caps
23. Liz Musgrove (Wasps) – 14 caps

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