The first squad of a new head coach’s reign can offer significant signposts as to their long-term intentions, and Scotland’s Philip Doyle may have done just that after naming his group for their tour to South Africa.
Scotland travel to the Southern Hemisphere at the end of September for a pair of matches against South Africa, before they return to host Japan and Women’s Six Nations rivals Wales in November.
And, after being appointed as Shade Munro’s successor back in April, Doyle has opted for a mix of youth and experience in what is his maiden selection.
Helen Nelson is handed the captaincy after impressing on duty with the 7s squad and will be joined in the group by Loughborough Lightning teammates and fellow Scotland mainstays Sarah Bonar, Rachel Malcolm, Rhona Lloyd and Jenny Maxwell.
Experience also comes in the shapes of Chloe Rollie, Jade Konkel and Mhairi Grieve, while plenty of domestically-based players also get the nod.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) September 16, 2019
Doyle has also handed first senior call-ups to Christine Belisle, Sarah Denholm and Anne Young, in the hopes that the next generation can start to establish itself.
“I am really excited to see what this squad can produce in South Africa,” he said.
“We have had two very successful training camps with large numbers of players involved. There are a lot of experienced players who have not been selected for this tour.
“Selection has been tough, and this is due to the increasing standards of all players. This can only bode well for the rest of the season and shows the depth that we are able to add to the squad.
“Standards are going up and these two players are exactly what we are looking for. I am using this tour to very much look forward to the future.”
Scotland Women squad to travel to South Africa
Christine Belisle (Cartha Queens Park)
Sarah Bonar (Loughborough Lightning)
Lisa Cockburn (Darlington Mowden Park)
Mairi Forsyth (Corstorphine Cougars)
Megan Kennedy (Stirling County RFC)
Jade Konkel (Harlequins)
Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning)
Rachel McLachlan (Darlington Mowden Park)
Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Panashe Muzambe (Edinburgh University / Watsonians)
Jodie Rettie (Saracens)
Lana Skeldon (Darlington Mowden Park)
Emma Wassell (Corstorphine Cougar)
Anne Young (Edinburgh University)
Sarah Denholm (Edinburgh University)
Abi Evans (Darlington Mowden Park)
Megan Gaffney (Watsonians)
Mhairi Grieve (Waterloo Firwood)
Sarah Law (Darlington Mowden Park)
Rhona Lloyd (Loughborough Lightning)
Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning)
Liz Musgrove (Darlington Mowden Park)
Helen Nelson (Tour Captain)(Loughborough Lightning)
Chloe Rollie (Harlequins)
Hannah Smith (Watsonians)
Lisa Thomson (Darlington Mowden Park)