Scotland Women extended training squad announced ahead of Guinness Six Nations

Scotland Women extended training squad announced ahead of Guinness Six Nations

Scotland Women Head Coach, Bryan Easson, has announced an extended training squad ahead of the 2024 Guinness Women's Six Nations.

The 34-player squad, which comprises 18 forwards and 16 backs, will convene in camp on Monday 26 February.

Easson has named seven uncapped players, four of whom were recently drafted as core squad members for Edinburgh Rugby in the Celtic Challenge.

Forwards Alex Stewart and Merryn Gunderson (both of Corstorphine Cougars) have earned their first call up to the senior squad, while University of Edinburgh duo Cieron Bell and Nicole Flynn also impressed during their time with the capital side.

Scottish Qualified Leia Brebner-Holden, who has spent time playing in the Celtic Challenge with Edinburgh Rugby, and Megan Varley of Bristol Bears, also enter the squad for the first time. Varley, who has previously played for England U20s, qualifies to play for Scotland through her Scottish-born grandmother. Brebner-Holden also qualifies through her mother who was born in Brora.

Fiona McIntosh returns to the training squad having travelled with Scotland to South Africa for WXV2. The lock has also recently featured in the Celtic Challenge for Edinburgh Rugby.

Bolstering the management group for Scotland, Josie Symonds joins as Head of Physical Performance. Symonds was formerly the Strength and Conditioning (S&C) coach for Worcester Warriors Men’s team and Head of Performance for Worcester Warriors Women, and has most recently worked for Exeter Chiefs Women leading their S&C programme.

On his squad selection, Easson said: “After our success in South Africa at WXV2, we are ready to push on with a Six Nations campaign and it’s exciting to be doing this with new faces to the squad and management team.

“The expansion of the Celtic Challenge has helped us identify a number of up-and-coming players who have showcased they deserve a chance to take the next step.

“It’s great to bring in a number of experienced players and those whose professional careers have been flourishing in the Allianz PWR. Lana Skeldon, Rachel Malcolm, Evie Gallagher and Elliann Clarke have all been real standouts in that competition, alongside newcomer Meg Varley. I’m looking forward to seeing this group challenge each other in the run up to the championship.”

Following on from the introduction of 28 professional contracts in December 2022, Scottish Rugby can confirm 32 contracts have been agreed in the new cycle.

Of the 34-player training squad, 23 players have been awarded professional contracts, with four more granted to Jade Konkel (Harlequins), Liz Musgrove (Ealing Trailfinders), Evie Wills (Leicester Tigers) and Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning). Both Konkel and Musgrove are currently unavailable for Scotland duties through injury, whilst Wills works towards her return to play following a knee injury. Maxwell has recently made her come back to the pitch after a 20-month long stint out through injury, and will continue building on her return with her club.

Beth Blacklock (Saracens) and Nikki Simpson (Garioch/Glasgow Warriors) have agreed ‘Development Contracts’ which are designed to allow them to train more often.

Shona Campbell, Rhona Lloyd and Lisa Thomson have accepted dual contracts with GB Sevens and Scottish Rugby, with release periods agreed for international XV duties.

Scotland Women Extended Training Squad


Leah Bartlett (Leicester Tigers)*
Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning)*
Sarah Bonar (Harlequins)*
Elliann Clarke (Bristol Bears)*
Lisa Cockburn (Leicester Tigers)*
Eva Donaldson (Leicester Tigers)*
Evie Gallagher (Bristol Bears)*
Merryn Gunderson (Corstorphine Cougars/Edinburgh Rugby)**
Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning)*
Elis Martin (Leicester Tigers)*
Fiona McIntosh (Saracens)**
Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks)*
Louise McMillan (Saracens)*
Lana Skeldon (Bristol Bears)*
Alex Stewart (Corstorphine Cougars/Edinburgh Rugby)**
Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning)*
Molly Wright (Sale Sharks)*
Anne Young (Sale Sharks)*


Cieron Bell (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)**
Beth Blacklock (Saracens)*
Leia Brebner-Holden (Gloucester-Hartpury/Cheltenham Tigers)**
Shona Campbell (GB 7s)*
Nicole Flynn (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)**
Coreen Grant (Saracens)*
Caity Mattinson (Gloucester-Hartpury)*
Mairi McDonald (Exeter Chiefs)*
Francesca McGhie (Leicester Tigers)*
Rhona Lloyd (GB 7s/ Stade Bordelais)*
Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning)*
Emma Orr (Heriot’s Blues/Edinburgh Rugby)*
Lisa Thomson (GB 7s)*
Chloe Rollie (Loughborough Lightning)*
Meryl Smith (Bristol Bears)*
Megan Varley (Bristol Bears)**

*Contracted player
**Uncapped player

Tickets for Scotland’s home games against France and England at Hive Stadium in Edinburgh are available HERE.

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