Scotland Women players Chloe Rollie (fullback) and Lisa Thomson (centre) have been signed by top female French club Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois (LMRCV).
The duo will play in the French Top 8 this season alongside international teammate Jade Konkel, who moved to the club earlier this month, on one-year contracts.
Villeneuve d’Ascq, based in northern France near Lille, were crowned Top 8 champions in 2016 and were runners up in the 2017 final against Montpellier. The French leagues sit a level below the English but represent an ideal proving ground for our female rugby players to develop their skills with, one hopes, a resulting improvement in the fortunes of the national team too.
Rollie and Thomson will become full-time Stage 3 players in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy and will be available for Scotland Women selection, making them the country’s newest professional female players.
Glasgow aim for consistency
Adam Hastings, who impressed for Glasgow last weekend in their narrow loss to Northamption, will again partner George Horne as Glasgow head to Wales to face The Dragons (now of no fixed geographical association). As if to answer your comments from earlier, Ruaridh Jackson will do his bit to provide depth at fullback as he starts there tomorrow afternoon in Ebbw Vale following his stint in the Premiership.
Nick Grigg will partner Sam Johnson in midfield while the pack has a broadly similar look with Adam Ashe once again the captain with new club captain Ryan Wilson still in match resting mode for another few weeks.
George Turner and Lelia Masaga could make their debuts from the bench, while experience in the shape of Henry Pyrgos and Peter Horne also waits on the bench.
Glasgow Warriors team to play The Dragons at Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale, Friday 25 August (kick-off 2pm, live coverage via Warriors Twitter):
15. Ruaridh Jackson, 14. Lee Jones, 13. Nick Grigg, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Rory Hughes, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. George Horne; 1. Jamie Bhatti, 2. James Malcolm, 3. D’arcy Rae, 4. Brian Alainu’uese, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Lewis Wynne, 7. Chris Fusaro, 8. Adam Ashe (capt).
Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Gary Strain (Glasgow Hawks), 18. Adam Nicol, 19. Greg Peterson, 20. Kiran McDonald, 21. Hamilton Burr, 22. Matt Smith, 23. Matt Fagerson, 24. Henry Pyrgos, 25. Peter Horne, 26. Patrick Kelly, 27. Lelia Masaga, 28. Stafford McDowell
Edinburgh wait to announce captain
Fresh back from the PRO14 launch where Mark Bennett was the official player representative from Edinburgh, Richard Cockerill is delaying the naming of his club captain until next week but has suggested in reports online that the new man will be a younger player and not one who has held the role before.
The most likely candidates include Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury, with Bradbury the only change to the pack to face Newcastle Falcons at the home of Melrose, The Greenyards on Friday night. No captain is listed for the fixture.
The rest of the changes are in the backs, where Blair Kinghorn starts at 15 and Dougie Fife – if he keeps scoring, Cockerill may be wondering why he was exiled to the Sevens – start at full-back and wing respectively.
In the massive list of replacements, Melrose scrum half Jason Baggot represents the locals while loan loosehead Ryan Grant will be itching for an opportunity to cover that particular gap in Edinburgh’s depth and show he’s worth a contract.
Edinburgh team to play Newcastle Falcons at The Greenyards in a pre-season fixture tomorrow (Friday 25 August, kick-off 6pm)
15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Darcy Graham, 13. Chris Dean, 12. Junior Rasolea, 11. Dougie Fife, 10. Duncan Weir, 9. Nathan Fowles; 1. Darryl Marfo, 2. Stuart McInally, 3. Simon Berghan, 4. Anton Bresler, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. Jamie Ritchie, 7. John Hardie, 8. Magnus Bradbury.
Replacements: Neil Cochrane, Cammy Fenton, Ryan Grant, Ross Dunbar, Murray McCallum, Kevin Bryce, Fraser McKenzie, Callum Hunter-Hill, Cornell du Preez, Luke Crosbie, Ally Miller, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Jason Tovey, Jason Baggot, Tom Brown, Jason Harries, Glenn Bryce, James Johnstone, Jamie Farndale