Edinburgh Rugby women’s side named for first-ever match

Edinburgh Rugby women’s side named for first-ever match

Head Coach Claire Cruikshank today named the first-ever Edinburgh Rugby women’s matchday squad to face inter-city rivals Glasgow Warriors in tomorrow’s Celtic Challenge clash at Hive Stadium (30 December, kick-off 12 noon) – live on BBC Scotland and RugbyPass TV.

The team is geared up for an historic inaugural clash, in front of a crowd of over 1,200 at Hive Stadium, forming a double header and alongside the men’s 1872 Cup fixture at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.

Cruikshank’s side boasts several talented developing Scottish players, with fully capped internationalists adding further experience to the side.

Scotland and Edinburgh University stand-off Sarah Denholm is named captain, with Corstorphine Cougars flanker Alex Stewart selected as vice-captain.

Cardiff Met’s Nicole Marlow – who joined the squad as a transitional player through the Scottish Qualified Programme – starts at fullback and will be joined in the back three by Edinburgh University duo Cieron Bell and Hannah Walker on the wings.

Scotland internationalist Emma Orr earns the outside-centre starting berth, forming a midfield partnership with Watsonian FC centre Briar McNamara.

Captain Denholm is named at stand-off alongside fellow Scotland internationalist Jenny Maxwell, who has been made available for selection for Round One of the Celtic Challenge following an agreed release from Loughborough Lightning – making her comeback after a lengthy injury sustained at the World Cup last year.

Edinburgh University prop Poppy Fletcher packs down at loosehead alongside Corstorphine Cougars’ Katie Lindsay at tighthead, with Saracens hooker Nicola Haynes named as a further transitional player in the squad.  

Fiona McIntosh, who was recently named in Scotland Women’s squad at the inaugural WXV2 competition held in South Africa earlier this year, is selected at lock having been released by parent club Saracens for the fixture, alongside Edinburgh University lock Natasha Logan in the second row. 

Hartpury University back-row Gemma Bell joins vice-captain Stewart at flanker, while Corsptorphine Cougars Number Eight Merryn Gunderson completes the starting 15. 

Edinburgh University’s Millie Whitehouse is named as replacement hooker, with Scotland cap Panashe Muzambe and Watsonian FC prop Molly Poolman replacement props.

Adelle Ferrie and Freya Walker, of Corstorphine and Watsonians respectively, are named as further pack reinforcements.

Transitional scrum-half Leia Brebner-Holden (Gloucester Hartpury & Cheltenham Tigers) could impact at halfback, with Hannah Ramsay (Corstorphine Cougars) and Rachel Philipps (Watsonian FC) completing the matchday 23. 

On the squad, Cruikshank added: “It’s hugely exciting to be able to name our first side for Saturday’s Celtic Challenge match against Glasgow. It’s a side that is packed with talent, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform against what will be a tough opposition in Glasgow.

“A lot of the players from both sides will know each other well, so it’ll be a challenge for all involved.

“The anticipation for the game has been building for a while, and we can’t wait to get out there in front of a big crowd at Hive Stadium!”

Edinburgh Rugby women’s side to face Glasgow Warriors at Hive Stadium (Saturday 30 December – kick-off 12 noon) – live on BBC Scotland and RugbyPass TV

15. Nicole Marlow** (Cardiff Met)

14. Hannah Walker* (Edinburgh University)
13. Emma Orr* (Heriot’s Blues/Biggar RFC)
12. Briar McNamara (Watsonian FC)
11. Cieron Bell* (Edinburgh University)

10. Sarah Denholm* (CAPTAIN) (Edinburgh University)
9. Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning)

1. Poppy Fletcher* (Edinburgh University)
2. Nicola Haynes** (Saracens)
3. Katie Lindsay* (Corstorphine Cougars)
4. Fiona McIntosh** (Saracens)
5. Natasha Logan* (Edinburgh University)
6. Gemma Bell** (Hartpury University)
7. Alex Stewart* (VICE-CAPTAIN) (Corstorphine Cougars)
8. Merryn Gunderson (Corstorphine Cougars)


16. Millie Whitehouse (Edinburgh University)
17. Panashe Muzambe** (Exeter Chiefs)
18. Molly Poolman* (Watsonian FC)
19. Adelle Ferrie (Corstorphine Cougars)
20. Freya Walker* (Watsonian FC)
21. Leia Brebner-Holden** (Gloucester Hartpury & Cheltenham Tigers)
22. Hannah Ramsay (Corstorphine Cougars)
23. Rachel Philipps* (Watsonian FC)

*Scottish Rugby Regional Training Centre supported players
** Transitional SQ Player

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