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Five Lightning stars selected by Scotland for Spain Test

Five Loughborough Lightning players have been named by Scotland in their matchday 23 for this weekend’s Autumn Test fixture against Spain.

Chloe Rollie, Helen Nelson, Christine Belisle, Rachel Malcolm, and Emma Wassell will all run out for the hosts at Hive Stadium in Edinburgh on Saturday (kick-off: 5.45pm) – with the match broadcast live on scottishrugby.org.

Head Coach Bryan Easson has opted for consistency in his selection, with 13 of the starting line-up having played in Scotland’s last match of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations tournament against Ireland – when they sealed an emphatic 36-10 victory in front of a record home crowd.

Lightning back row Malcolm leads out Scotland as captain, earning her 39th cap in the process, with tighthead prop Belisle also starting in the front row.

Fly-half Nelson (who is also named vice-captain) and fullback Rollie are the most experienced members of the hosts’ back line, boasting 51 and 57 caps respectively. Meanwhile Wassall will be hoping to add some ballast off the bench as she is selected amongst the replacements.

Easson said: “It’s great to have the Spain fixture as when you go into any tournament, it’s important you have an opportunity to pit yourself against different opposition with different playing styles.

“We know that when we go to Cape Town for WXV, we will be playing against South Africa and USA in the first two weeks who are both physical sides, but we are also playing against Japan who play more open-style, faster rugby and Spain fall into some of those categories.

“In terms of the selection, we’ve looked at a few permutations and some players who are coming back from injury who need game time, so there is a really good mix of experience and youth in the squad for this weekend.”

Bryan Easson, Scotland Head Coach

Following Saturday’s match against Spain, Scotland will travel to Cape Town as they kick-start their WXV 2 campaign on Friday 13 October at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, with the side facing hosts South Africa (kick-off: 4.30pm).

The tournament then heads to Cape Town with the Athlone Stadium hosting the second and third rounds of WXV 2, with Scotland going head-to-head against USA on Friday 20 October (kick-off: 2pm) before concluding their campaign against Japan on Friday 27 October (kick-off: 2pm)

Scotland team to face Spain

15 Chloe Rollie (Loughborough Lightning) – 57 caps
14 Rhona Lloyd (GB 7s / Les Lionnes du Stade Bordelais) – 42 caps
13 Emma Orr (Heriot’s/Biggar) – 10 caps
12 Meryl Smith (Bristol Bears) – 9 caps
11 Francesca McGhie (Watsonians) – 5 caps
10 Helen Nelson, vice-captain (Loughborough Lightning) – 51 caps
9 Mairi McDonald (Exeter Chiefs) – 14 caps

1 Leah Bartlett (Leicester Tigers) – 26 caps
2 Lana Skeldon (Worcester Warriors) – 62 caps
3 Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning) – 26 caps
4 Louise McMillan (Saracens) – 44 caps
5 Sarah Bonar (Harlequins) – 34 caps
6 Rachel Malcolm, captain (Loughborough Lightning) – 38 caps
7 Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks) – 36 caps
8 Evie Gallagher (Worcester Warriors) – 18 caps

16 Elis Martin (Leicester Tigers) – 1 cap
17 Anne Young (Sale Sharks) – 6 caps
18 Lisa Cockburn (Worcester Warriors) – 24 caps
19 Eva Donaldson (Leicester Tigers) – 5 caps
20 Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning) – 60 caps
21 Caity Mattinson (Worcester Warriors) – 14 caps
22 Lisa Thomson (GB 7s) – 51 caps
23 Liz Musgrove – (Ealing Trailfinders) – 15 caps

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