The Thistles team named for Combined Provinces clash

The Thistles team named for Combined Provinces clash

The Thistles Head Coach, Claire Cruikshank, has made six changes to her side to face Combined Provinces XV in their second match of the Celtic Challenge competition on Saturday (4 February, kick-off 4.30pm).

The Thistles will travel to Kingspan Stadium in Belfast to face Greg McWilliams’ side, with Exeter Chiefs duo Panashe Muzambe and Mairi McDonald being named as co-captains for the fixture.

The side showed a lot of promise in their opening Celtic Challenge clash at Scotstoun Stadium a fortnight ago, with scores from Roma Fraser, Holly McIntyre, Francesca McGhie and Muzambe, but the side were unable to hold off a last gasp attempt from WRU Development XV, with the visitors narrowly taking the win at the end of the match.

There are two positional changes in the back division, as McIntyre and Emma Orr move to outside centre and inside centre respectively, while Rachel Philipps makes her first start for The Thistles on the wing.

DMP Sharks’ Elis Martin joins the fold to start at hooker, while Cartha Queens Park lock Charlotte Boan is promoted from the bench to the starting line-up, with Hillhead Jordanhill’s Erinn Foley moving to openside flanker.

Cruikshank said: “Although the result didn’t go our way in our opening match, I was really impressed by the fight and determination that the players demonstrated at Scotstoun.

“We’ve made a couple of changes to our team for this weekend, with Panashe and Mairi taking charge this weekend and Meryl Smith being unavailable due to injury.

“It is also great to welcome Kiera MacDonald and Ceitidh Ainsworth into this weekend’s squad on the back of winning their first ever Tennent’s Premiership title at Bridgehaugh last weekend.

“There were plenty of learnings we took from that game and we’ll be looking to fix those small margins against Combined Provinces XV. I know the players are relishing the challenge ahead.”

The Thistles line-up to face Combined Provinces XV at Kingspan Stadium (Saturday 4 February, kick-off 4.30pm)

15. Roma Fraser (Cartha Queens Park)

14. Rachel Philipps (University of Edinburgh)
13. Holly McIntyre (University of Edinburgh)
12. Emma Orr (Heriot’s)
11. Francesca McGhie (Watsonians)

10. Sarah Denholm (University of Edinburgh
9. Mairi McDonald CO-CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs)

1. Panashe Muzambe CO-CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs)
2. Elis Martin (DMP Sharks)
3. Elliann Clarke (University of Edinburgh)
4. Charlotte Boan (Cartha Queens Park)
5. Natasha Logan (University of Edinburgh)
6. Eva Donaldson (University of Edinburgh)
7. Erinn Foley (Hillhead Jordanhill)
8. Freya Walker (Watsonians)


16. Nikki Simpson (Garioch)
17. Poppy Fletcher (Heriot’s)
18. Lindsay McDiarmid (Garioch)
19. Kiera MacDonald (Stirling County)
20. Alex Stewart (University of Edinburgh)
21. Rhea Clarke (University of Edinburgh)
22. Ceitidh Ainsworth (Stirling County)
23. Hannah Walker (University of Edinburgh)

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