The Thistles team named ahead of Celtic Challenge opener
The Thistles Head Coach, Claire Cruikshank, has named her side to face the Welsh Development XV in this Sunday’s opening Celtic Challenge fixture at Scotstoun Stadium (22 January, kick-off 2.30pm).
The University of Edinburgh’s Meryl Smith will captain the side, while Panashe Muzambe and Mairi McDonald join the starting line-up after being released by Exeter Chiefs for this weekend’s match.
The front-row sees hooker Aila Ronald pack down alongside Muzambe and Elliann Clarke, while Erinn Foley links up with Natasha Logan in the second-row. Freya Walker will anchor the back-row alongside Jess Fyfe and Eva Donaldson.
Sarah Denholm forms a half-back partnership with Mairi McDonald, while skipper Smith partners Emma Orr in the midfield.
The back-three sees Roma Fraser at full-back, with Francesca McGhie and Holly McIntyre lining-up on the wing.
Cruikshank said: “It’s been a really tough selection process but I’ve been really encouraged by the hard-work and effort shown at our recent training sessions.
“I’m delighted to appoint Meryl as our captain this weekend. She’s a fantastic player who I’ve worked with for a number of seasons now and this weekend provides the perfect opportunity to develop her leadership skills.”
The Thistles line-up to face Welsh Development XV at Scotstoun Stadium (Sunday 22 January, kick-off 2.30pm)
15. Roma Fraser (Cartha Queens Park)
14. Holly McIntyre (University of Edinburgh)
13. Emma Orr (Biggar)
12. Meryl Smith CAPTAIN (University of Edinburgh)
11. Francesca McGhie (Watsonians)
10. Sarah Denholm (University of Edinburgh)
9. Mairi McDonald (Exeter Chiefs)
1. Panashe Muzambe (Exeter Chiefs)
2. Aila Ronald (University of Edinburgh)
3. Elliann Clarke (University of Edinburgh)
4. Erinn Foley (Hillhead Jordanhill)
5. Natasha Logan (University of Edinburgh)
6. Eva Donaldson (University of Edinburgh)
7. Jess Fyfe (Cartha Queens Park)
8. Freya Walker (Watsonians)
16. Nikki Simpson (Garioch)
17. Lindsay McDiarmid (Garioch)
18. Molly Poolman (Watsonians)
19. Charlotte Boan (Cartha Queens Park)
20. Emma Turner (Corstorphine Cougars)
21. Rhea Clarke (University of Edinburgh)
22. Carla McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill)
23. Rachel Philipps (University of Edinburgh)