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Women's XV

Trio of 'Sonians in Scotland squad are "great role models"

Trio of 'Sonians in Scotland squad are

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We find out more about the three players involved in the Women's Six Nations...

Panashe Muzambe, Molly Wright and Hannah Smith are preparing to represent WFC in the upcoming Women’s Six Nations.

The trio of Watsonians Women’s XV players are joined in a 31-strong Scotland squad for the event by former ‘Sonians Lana Skeldon and Megan Gaffney.

Prop Panashe, 25, has six caps to her name to date and also plays for Edinburgh University while hooker Molly, 29, has made four appearances.

Centre Hannah, 28, has earned 24 caps for her country and she is also part of the wider GB squad training for the Olympic sevens at the moment.

The Scotland matchday 23 is named on Thursday for the opening match away to England in Doncaster and fingers crossed all three are involved.

“As individuals they are all remarkable women in terms of what they do balancing careers and studies with top level rugby,” Watsonians Women’s XV Head Coach Freddie Main said.

“They are high performers in their chosen fields - Panashe is studying, Molly is a physio and Hannah is a vet - and they bring that work ethic to their club rugby and their international rugby.

“They put in so much hard work on and off the pitch and they really are great role models.

“I sometimes wonder how they fit it all in, but they do and whenever they train with the club you would not know they are internationalists because they just get on with the rest of the group, have fun and help other players too.

“They have a drive and determination that rubs off well on others, they have a humility and within the club environment they lead by example.

“The three of them are very approachable and they have a great rapport with our younger players which is brilliant to see.

“For us to have three current players in the Scotland set-up is testament to them and also to the environment we have in place at the club.

“We have recently been able to start back with some sort of training adhering to restrictions and you can see that these players being involved in a showpiece event has lifted spirits - the players are buzzing to see their friends doing so well on the big stage.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the three of them and I am looking forward to them hopefully getting a chance to show what they can do during April when women’s rugby really is at the forefront of things.”

The tournament - which runs until April 24 - has a different format this year and the Scots are in Pool A with England and Italy.

Bryan Easson’s charges’ first game is away to England in Doncaster on Saturday at 3pm and is live on the BBC iPlayer.

France, Ireland and Wales are in Pool B.

Scotland squad for the Women’s Six Nations 2021:

Forwards: Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning), Christine Belisle (Cartha Queens Park), Siobhan Cattigan (Stirling County), Lisa Cockburn (DMP Durham Sharks), Katie Dougan (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Evie Gallagher, Megan Kennedy (both Stirling County), Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning, C), Rachel McLachlan (Unattached), Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), Panashe Muzambe (Edinburgh University/Watsonians), Jodie Rettie (Saracens), Lana Skeldon (Unattached), Emma Wassell (Corstorphine Cougars), Molly Wright (Watsonians).

Backs: Shona Campbell (Edinburgh University), Abi Evans (DMP Durham Sharks), Megan Gaffney (Heriot’s), Coreen Grant (Saracens), Sarah Law (Unattached), Rhona Lloyd, Jenny Maxwell (both Loughborough Lightning), Mairi McDonald (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Liz Musgrove (Unattached), Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning, V-C), Chloe Rollie (Harlequins), Rachel Shankland (Stirling County), Hannah Smith (Watsonians), Lisa Thomson (Unattached), Evie Tonkin (DMP Durham Sharks), Evie Wills (Stirling County).

Words by Gary Heatly

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