Stewart to debut in Cardiff

Stewart to debut in Cardiff

Corstorphine Cougars back-row and Edinburgh Rugby vice-captain Alex Stewart makes her international debut as one of five capital players named in the Scotland Women squad to face Wales at Cardiff Arms Park in the opening round of this year’s Guinness Women’s Six Nations.

Stewart, who impressed in the recent Celtic Challenge campaign, playing in every fixture as Edinburgh Rugby secured a historic second-place finish, earns her fist cap at open side flanker.

Edinburgh Rugby are well represented in the backs as Rhona Lloyd, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson and Caity Mattinson all start in Cardiff, having all worn the castle on their chest this past campaign.

Loughborough Lightning’s Rachel Malcolm and Helen Nelson have been named as captain and vice-captain respectively, and both earn a starting position in the matchday 23.

Joining Malcolm in the back-row is Evie Gallagher at number eight.

Elsewhere in the pack, it is in unchanged side from Scotland’s win against Japan in WXV2 as Leah Bartlett starts at loosehead prop with Christine Belisle at tighthead. Lana Skeldon complements a settled front row at hooker.

Completing the forwards are Emma Wassell and Sarah Bonar, who will link up in the second row.

Vice-captain Helen Nelson starts at stand-off and is partnered by Mattinson at scrum-half.

The familiar pairing of Lisa Thomson and Emma Orr resume a centre partnership which featured for Edinburgh Rugby during the Celtic Challenge and during WXV2 in South Africa.

Wingers Rhona Lloyd and Coreen Grant are selected as part of a back three also containing Meryl Smith, who features at full-back for the first time.

The bench is comprised of five forwards and three backs. GB Sevens star Shona Campbell makes her return to the XVs stage, joined by scrum-half replacement Mairi McDonald and full-back, Chloe Rollie.

Elis Martin, Molly Wright, Elliann Clarke, Louise McMillan and Rachel McLachlan complete the matchday squad as forward replacements.


Scotland team to face Wales at Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 4.45pm GMT) – live on BBC 2 and iPlayer (caps in brackets):

15. Meryl Smith – Bristol Bears (13)

14. Rhona Lloyd – GB Sevens / Stade Bordelais – (46)
13. Emma Orr – Heriot’s Blues (14)
12. Lisa Thomson – GB Sevens (55)
11. Coreen Grant – Saracens (7)

10. Helen Nelson – Vice-Captain – Loughborough Lightning (55)
9. Caity Mattinson – Gloucester-Hartpury (18)

1. Leah Bartlett – Leicester Tigers (30)
2. Lana Skeldon – Bristol Bears (66)
3. Christine Belisle – Loughborough Lightning (30)
4. Emma Wassell – Loughborough Lightning (64)
5. Sarah Bonar – Harlequins (35)
6. Rachel Malcolm – Captain – Loughborough Lightning (42)
7. Alex Stewart – Corstorphine Cougars (uncapped)
8. Evie Gallagher – Bristol Bears (22)


16. Elis Martin – Leicester Tigers (5)
17. Molly Wright – Sale Sharks (18)
18. Elliann Clarke – Bristol Bears (6)
19. Louise McMillan – Saracens (48)
20. Rachel McLachlan – Sale Sharks (40)
21. Mairi McDonald – Exeter Chiefs (18)
22. Shona Campbell – GB Sevens (9)
23. Chloe Rollie – Loughborough Lightning (61)

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