Scotland U16 squad confirmed

Scotland U16 squad confirmed

Scottish Rugby’s Pathways programme “explores the impossible”, as the U16s programme gets underway, looking to develop players to hopefully one day pull on the Thistle for Scotland Women.

The programme allows for the 42 girls selected to enter Scottish Rugby’s player programme two years earlier than in previous years. Robbie Lavery, Performance Pathways Manager Girls & Womens Rugby, said: “The purpose of the programme is based on our theme of exploring the impossible, where players are encouraged to explore their performance rugby through expert coaching and game-based learning.”

Whilst the programme is beneficial for the group of girls, each player will also learn new skills and develop as an individual. Lavery continued: “It’s an individual performance development programme, that is based around supporting the individual’s learning. This will culminate in two match opportunities, where those players can take the learning from those training sessions and then apply and transition that into a game-based scenario with live opposition”.

“It’s an experience that the players will get in terms of an elevated standard of facilities and coaching from our performance coaches.”

The selected U16 players will spend time in camps over the next few months, with the programme allowing the coaches to assess players, with the potential to progress to the U18s programme.

The next few weeks looks very exciting for the girls in their camps. They have had initial interaction over the last two weekends and will move into smaller groups to allow for more meaningful practice and allow for better preparation, learning and transition into the games at the end of their programme.

Scotland U16 Head Coach, Gordon Lyon, explained that: “The intensity of their experience increases each week. They’ve really had an introduction to what the next level is all about and the intensity doesn’t just mean running around harder, but also the intensity of the focus that they get on their individual techniques.”

The internal game opportunity has been designed to give every player the chance to play in different styles and with different people to bring out the best game for them.

Selecting players for any programme is no easy feat for any coach but Lyon had a rigorous process to go through in selecting his 42 players for this squad.

Lyon said: “We go to watch some games live in the recent Regional series, but then also getting videos from all other games and that was supported by coaches’ feedback. So, for the regional coaches’ feedback and coaches’ nominations we were able to go from the initial 230 players down to 110 players in regional games, before going through the final nomination process of which we selected 42 players. There have been multiple stages where we’ve seen videos, seen some live evidence, and had some real quality feedback that’s been based around the Blueprint principles from Rugby Development and Performance departments.”

The girls are not short of enthusiasm and excitement for this programme and for their development. Lyon said: “They’re super keen, which is amazing for us as coaches, it’s really quite enthusing. They’re coming and asking lots of questions and really diligent to get involved. They’re always nice and early and all turn up half an hour before the session starts to work on extras, even though they’re only supposed to be there 15 minutes before.”

The girls are not short of talent and skill, as Lyon continued: “We’re just amazed by the skill set of some of these girls. The creativity that they have and also the tenacity is impressive. For the games, we just want it to be an absolute spectacle of rugby and it just be really enjoyable for all.”

This programme only can mean good things for the women and girls’ game in the local communities. Lyon said: “It’s kind of a top-down approach by giving these players a really good picture at what good rugby, good coaching and good training looks like they can take this back to their clubs, schools and communities to enhance the game for all.”

 “We are going to explore the impossible and rewrite what everyone thought U16 girls rugby looks like in Scotland.”

Squad List

Ellen Nimmo – Back Row – Boroughmuir Banshees

Isla Napier – Scrum Half – Glenrothes RFC

Cailyn Lardner – Prop – Stirling County RFC

Emily Samson – Hooker – Stirling County RFC

Daisy Morrison – Second Row – Stirling County RFC

Grace Mathers – Second Row – Perthshire RFC

Grace Malcolm – Second Row – Perthshire RFC

Gemma Thomson – Back Row – Stirling County RFC

Charlotte Heath – Scrum-Half – Stirling County RFC

Emily Forsyth – Stand-Off – Stirling County RFC

Scarlett Haddow – Centre – Stirling County RFC

Nina Hausrath – Centre – Perthshire RFC

Niamh MacGregor – Back Three – Stirling County RFC

Megan Hutchinson – Prop – Annan

Tilda Henderson – Stand-Off – Stewartry

Lucy Giles – Back Three – Dumfries

Autumn MacDougall – Prop – Biggar RFC

Lilly Clarkson – Hooker – Strathaven RFC

Ashley Court – Second Row – Biggar RFC

Imogen Spence – Back Row – Biggar RFC

Poppy Mellanby – Scrum-Half – Biggar RFC

Lucy Ronald – Stand-Off – Strathendrick RFC

Lisa Brown – Centre – Biggar RFC

Skyla Smith – Back Three – East Kilbride RFC

Eve Mackay – Second Row – Strathendrick RFC

Sarah-Jane Dunnett – Prop – Caithness RFC

Isabella Ashley – Hooker/Prop – Huntly RFC

Iona Macleod – Second Row – Moray RFC

Layla Mitchell – Back Row – Ellon RFC

Saba Alexander – Stand-Off – Garioch RFC

Josie Fobister – Centre – Mackie RFC

Laina Munro – Back Three/Stand-Off – Ross Sutherland RFC

Klervie Texierwighardt – Second Row/Back Row – Murrayfield Wanderers

Hannah Ward – Prop – Edinburgh Harlequins

Niamh Waters – Scrum-Half/Stand-off – Murrayfield Wanderers

Sarah Murray – Centre/Back Three – Selkirk

Ellie Moffat – Prop/Hooker – Preston Lodge

Holly Wilson – Back Row – Peebles

Kara Borthwick – Stand-Off/Centre – Murrayfield Wanderers

Rihanna Connel – Centre/Back Three – Murrayfield Wanderers

Eve Cowe – Scrum-Half/Centre/Full Back – Preston Lodge

India Myles – Prop/Hooker – Edinburgh Harlequins

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