alex stewart
Alex Stewart isn’t the type of person to sit and wait for her opportunity.

Having made her first two international appearances in rounds one and two of the Guinness Women's Six Nations, she has already made her mark in Test rugby.

With two rounds gone, Stewart leads the way in cleanouts with 18, and attacking ruck arrivals with 59, 12 more than Wales’s Neve Jones, the next player in the rankings. She has also made 32 tackles, to put her joint second in the rankings, alongside Wales Number 8 Alex Callender.

It has been something of a whirlwind for the 19-year-old, who juggles rugby while studying for a law degree at the University of Edinburgh.

Stewart’s debut in round one was a 20-18 victory over Wales in Cardiff which took the team’s run of unbeaten matches to an unprecedented seven. While France ended that run when they left the Hive Stadium in Edinburgh with a 15-5 win in round two, the result demonstrated how much Brian Easson’s team has developed over the past 12 months, having lost 55-0 in 2023.

“My debut against Wales was incredible,” Stewart tells us. “I really enjoyed playing the fast and physical game. I caught myself smiling quite a few times throughout the game which was insane as I was playing international rugby for the first time.

“The main difference I found through the step up was the speed of play and the importance of detail in terms of technique. International opposition means that drills and the importance of routine in the game are essential so that our play and the set piece run smoothly.

“The team had a lot of belief going into the France game and it was a game that had a lot of excitement around it.

“We went out with high expectations for our performance, and we delivered in terms of our defence. With our high expectations there was always going to be frustration and disappointment that we lost.”


Stewart has been earmarked for Test honours for several years.

She first caught the rugby public’s attention when she was invited to be part of the Aspiring Performance Programme (APP), having first played rugby at Liberton High School and Lismore RFC.

In 2022 Stewart led out Edinburgh Harlequins U18 in the National Youth Cup Final at Murrayfield and that earned her a place in the Scotland squad for the first U18 Six Nations Festival in Edinburgh.

A year later, she returned to Murrayfield with Corstorphine Cougars in the Sarah Beaney Cup Final before she played for the Scotland Futures team on tour to Italy. Then at the end of the year she was named as Edinburgh Rugby’s vice-captain for the inaugural Celtic Challenge, where her performances earned her a call-up to the Scotland squad.

Now with her Test career underway, she is able to develop and learn from the two players either side of her in the Scottish back row, Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm and Number 8 Evie Gallagher.

“Playing with Rachel and Evie is special, especially from watching them play for a couple of years and their performances in WXV,” Stewart said. “They are very strong back row players, which meant it was less daunting going into my first Test.

“Evie has been really helpful in terms of advice and game understanding while I was learning how Scotland want to play and what my role was within it. Rachel has been very kind as I have had a lot of questions. It’s a privilege to learn from both Evie and Rachel.”


Stewart’s rugby education will continue in round three when defending champions England visit Hive Stadium.

The match pitches Stewart into direct competition with England captain and World Rugby Player of the Year, Marlie Packer, who reached a century of caps in Round 1.

Scotland haven’t beaten England in the Six Nations, but it hasn’t dampened the Scottish supporters’ enthusiasm for their clash with their traditional rivals.

The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) expects a crowd of over 7,000, which will set a new record for a Scottish women’s international, surpassing the 5,601 who attended their match against France.

“England is another chance to put in a performance we are proud of,” Stewart said. “It’s a challenge that I have never come across before and I’m interested to see how I adapt but I’m also excited to get stuck in again.

“It’s always a pleasure to play at the Hive Stadium in front of a home crowd. It really feels like a home ground for me, as I train there every week with the regional training centre and with Edinburgh in the Celtic Challenge.

“The crowd for France was unbelievable. The atmosphere that the fans create is very rewarding and there is not a place on the pitch where you cannot hear the crowd. The crowd brings a lot of passion and definitely gives us a push."

Scotland v England kicks off this Saturday at 14:15 BST.