Sports teams across the world have suffered enormously in recent weeks, but the Scottish Women’s Rugby team have endured more bad luck than most.
On 23rd February 2020, Scotland were due to face Italy in Legnano, which lies in the Lombardy region of Italy, searching for their first win of a tough Six Nations campaign. Little did they know that this particular weekend would be the start of a global pandemic first hitting Europe.
Even prior to this, Scotland were forced to contend with Storm Ciara, as treacherous weather conditions forced the initial meeting between Scotland and England at Scotstoun to be postponed and replayed behind closed doors.
Despite these unprecedented incidents, Emma Wassell, the 25 year-old Scottish lock, remains positive about the future. Extraordinarily, Wassell has not missed a Test for Scotland in six years, since her debut in 2014- a run spanning 43 internationals and 41 starts.
Speaking of Scotland’s improved performances this year, Wassell told The Scotsman “Some might look at that England result and think ‘Scotland Women are rubbish’ but that would be unfair because those girls are all full professionals and we have been making clear improvements.”
“We have occasional dips, which is natural. But we are all very positive about the way this squad is heading.”
Wassell was also complimentary about her new coach, nicknamed “Doyle” has made since taking over the side last year.
“He’s been really good. He’s a black and white character, you are never in any doubt about what he wants and expects from you, which is always great in a coach. He’s also a really fun guy too.”
Qualification for Scotland for the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand is still not guaranteed. They must still win a qualifier, which was scheduled to take place in September but is likely to be later than this, if they wish to progress to the group-stage. For a side that has only three Six Nations wins to their name during Wassell’s career this will no doubt be a tough ask, but it is also clear that Scotland are heading in the right direction.
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