Scottish Rugby today announced the first Scotland Women 7s squad, to be coached by former Scotland 7s captain and Glasgow Warriors back row forward, Scott Forrest.
Trials for the squad have been taking place in Scotland and London (exiles) over the last four weeks, led by Forrest, with aim of qualification for the 2013 Women’s Sevens Rugby World Cup.
This is Forrest’s first foray into coaching, after long-term injury forced him to hang up his boots following the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and his subsequent appointment as rugby development officer in Inverclyde.
Forrest said: “Going into sevens coaching just made sense because I’ve been involved in the game for so long. This opportunity came up and I was really excited. It’s the first time I’ve worked with a women’s squad – although in my job as DO I do development work with girls’ teams – and they’ve been great.
“Although they haven’t played a lot of sevens, the girls are very open and love to ask questions, which is great for a coach. The difference between males and females playing the game, at the moment, is the pace and skill level but, in terms of the game, the structure is exactly the same.”
The squad will play in a number of tournaments prior to competing in a FIRA-AER tournament in Belgium (9 & 10 June) from which they must finish in first or second position to proceed to the WRWC 2013 qualifier final in Moscow (30 June & 1July). Despite it being a very short programme for the girls, Forrest has every faith in his players.
He said: “I’ve played sevens for quite a long time and one thing I’ve learnt is that on any one day, any team can beat any other team. I’ve found that out the hard way, sometimes, but other times we’ve beaten teams that we were never expected to. If you do a good job and do the preparation right, then you really can beat anyone. That’s the beauty of sevens – you do get upsets!”
With the imminent arrival of the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s to the west of Scotland, Scott is a great supporter of the event’s move to a new location.
“I think it needed that, to freshen it up a bit and obviously the new facilities at Scotstoun will be great – with 15,000 people each day the atmosphere will be outstanding which, as players, is brilliant, especially when Scotland play and the crowd really get behind you. That number of supporters filling Scotstoun will be fantastic.”
A full audio interview with Scott, where he speaks about his feelings after injury stopped him playing, his role as Scotland Women 7s coach and why the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s will be great for rugby development in the region, please go to www.scottishrugby.org
The Scotland Women 7s squad announced today is below; the remaining two places will be announced following the Great Britain Student 7s trials on 28 April in London (Scott is also assistant coach of the GB Student Women 7s team).
1 Susie Brown (Richmond)
2 Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)
3 Sarah Dixon (Stirling County)
4 Tess Forsberg (Richmond)
5 Megan Gaffney (Murrayfield Wanderers)
6 Katy Green (Murrayfield Wanderers)
7 Steph Johnstone (RHC Cougars)
8 Sarah Law (Murrayfield Wanderers)
9 Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers)
10 Annabel Sergeant (Murrayfield Wanderers)
11 Sarah Sexton (Murrayfield Wanderers)
12 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
13 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
14 Hazel Tod (Cartha QPR)
The FIRA-AER WRWC qualifier first round tournament takes place in Ghent, Belgium on 9 and 10 June 2012. Scotland have been pooled with Finland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Norway, Malta, Poland, Israel, Georgia and Serbia and must finish first or second in their group to proceed to the WRWC 2013 qualifier final in Moscow on 30 June and 1 July. The 2013 Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens take place in Moscow.