Gary Heatly catches up with WFC Ladies youngster Abbie Baillie.
There were many positives from the Ladies XV’s performance in the shortened league season that ran until the end of 2018 and one of those was the emergence of a number of young players into the team.
They start their revamped 2019 campaign in March when the Sarah Beaney Cup gets underway.
Of course, the team made it to the final of that showpiece event last year, so they have been training hard in recent weeks to stay match fit and they are away down to Manchester this weekend for a friendly match.
Nicola Nightingale’s charges are facing Sale 1861 at 5.30pm on Saturday at Heywood Road and wearing 12 will be Abbie Baillie.
The 19-year-old has only played senior rugby at the top level for a few months, but you would not know it given the way the likes of her and close friends Emily Armstrong and Ailie Tucker, both back-rows, have settled in.
“I began playing my rugby at my local club Biggar when I was 12,” Baillie said.
“My family had always been quite involved in rugby, so I started when I was in high school and I just loved it from then and the Biggar girls section was really good.
“We went on to do pretty well as a team at both under-15 and 18 levels and I was lucky enough to be involved when we won the Cup at both age groups."
To play at BT Murrayfield with all of your friends and with your families watching on was a great experience
In the summer of 2018 when Abbie knew that she was going to be heading to Edinburgh to study at SRUC at King’s Buildings studying agriculture, she was keen to continue her rugby.
She headed down to train at Myreside and has not looked back since.
“I knew if I wanted to be serious about my rugby going forward I had to be playing at a club like Watsonians and with a few others also joining I thought it was the right move for me,” she explained.
“It was a step up from what I was used to, playing in the top division was great though and I have also enjoyed playing centre again after a couple of seasons in the back-row.
“Playing alongside Scotland caps has also been great and the more experienced players have helped me settle in which has been nice.
“The way we finished the league season [with a win over the champions Hillhead/Jordanhill] left everyone feeling good and knowing that we have a good platform to build from and the match at Sale will be an exciting one to be part of.”
Article by Gary Heatly (GH Media)