Trailblazer statues unveiled ahead of Women's Six Nations

Scottish Gas – Rugby Trailblazer Statues, Edinburgh  , 20th March 2024

Scottish Gas has teamed up with Scottish Rugby to celebrate the tremendous growth of the women’s rugby by casting three trailblazers into sustainable statues on the eve of the Guiness Women’s Six Nations.

Iconic statues of Donna Kennedy, Lisa Thomson, and Francesca McGhie have been unveiled on Castle Street, Edinburgh to put women’s rugby in the spotlight ahead of Saturday’s tournament opener against Wales in Cardiff (4:45pm).

Representing the past, present and future of women’s rugby in Scotland, the statues offer a slice of insight into those who have laid the foundations of the game as well as profiling two current stars, who alongside their teammates will provide inspiration for generations to come.

All three statues have been created by state-of-the-art 3D printing technology using 100% recycled plastics intercepted from industrial waste destined for marine environments or landfill.

They will remain at Castle Street until the evening of Friday 22 March, before being transported to the Hive Stadium, where they’ll be on display ahead of two mammoth home fixtures against France (Saturday 30 March) and England (Saturday 13 April). Tickets available here.

Due to high wind speeds up to 40mph, the precautionary measure of removing the statues from their plinths was taken on Thursday 21 March. This is due to safety considerations for the public and the need to protect the statues, which will be back out on display at Hive Stadium for the Guinness Women’s Six Nations fixtures against France and England.

The project emphasizes Scottish Gas’ commitment to elevating the profile of the sport in collaboration with Scottish Rugby, with the subsequent objectives of increasing the level of support for the elite game through to increasing participation levels at local rugby clubs.

Scottish Gas’ contribution to the women’s game will extend to Scotland’s female age-grade pathway squads over the duration of the partnership to ensure future on-pitch success for years to come.

Tickets remain on sale for Scotland’s upcoming Guiness Women’s Six Nations fixtures against France and England at Hive Stadium, starting from £11.50 for adults, £6 for Under-18s, while Under-12s can bag a ticket from as little as £1.50.

Secure your tickets here

Trailblazers in Focus

  • Donna Kennedy

    Donna Kennedy tops Scotland rugby’s appearance charts with 115 international caps accumulated over a 17-year career. She was the first player – male or female – to reach this milestone is Scottish rugby history.

    Her legacy in the game of Rugby Union is not just down to her longevity, but also due to her leadership in a Scotland shirt.

    Donna began her career at Biggar RFC in 1991, which kick-started an inspirational international career, helping to pave the way for the future of the women’s game across Scotland.

    In 1993, Donna made her bow against Ireland in Scotland Women’s first ever international fixture. She went on to feature in five World Cups in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 & 2010.

    Donna’s performances on the pitch were recognised in 2005 as she was named IRB Women’s Personality of the Year, the only Scot ever to be, cementing her place as one of the trailblazers of women’s rugby in Scotland.

  • Lisa Thomson

    Lisa Thomson is a star of Scottish rugby having represented and captained her country in both XVs and Sevens since 2016.

    Her first XVs cap was in 2016, aged 18, fast forward to 2022 and the Melrose-native had the honour of leading her country at the Commonwealth Games as they competed in the Sevens competition for the first time. In 2021 she added the title of ‘Olympian’ to her accolades when she featured in the GB team at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

    Her exploits on the Sevens circuit then earned her a central contract to represent GB7s as the home nations joined forces in 2022, with this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris on the horizon. Lisa played a key part in helping the Great British side qualify for the Olympics, securing Gold Medals at the inaugural 2023 European Games.

    Lisa’s path to the top started at Jed-Forest Minis, before playing for Langholm, Murrayfield Wanderers and Melrose on home soil. In 2017, Lisa enjoyed a spell with Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois in France, followed by stints with Sale Sharks and DMP Sharks in England.
    Lisa is a cross-code trailblazer well on her way to legendary status in the women’s game.

  • Francesca McGhie

    One of Scotland’s rising stars, Francesca McGhie has made an impressive start to life in a Scotland shirt following her debut in the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations.

    It’s been a year to remember for the 20-year-old, who has made nine appearances and scored three tries. She also played her part in an historic year for Scotland, as they were crowned the WXV2 Champions in South Africa.

    Her rugby journey began in 2018 at East Lothian and Borders Girls before joining Watsonians Rugby Club – who were crowned Tennent’s Premiership Champions in 2022 and winners of the Sarah Beaney Cup in 2023.

    Playing for The Thistles in the Celtic Challenge Cup alongside, newly capped Meryl Smith and Elliann Clark, McGhie was thrust into the spotlight, before the 2023/24 season brought with it a move to Leicester Tigers in the Allianz PWR.

    Her performances in 2023 earned a nomination for World Rugby’s Women’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year Award, a first for any Scottish player since Donna Kennedy was named IRB Women’s Personality of the year in 2004. It positioned her as an inspiration for the next generation of players hoping to take the game by storm.

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