Rachel Shankland to make Scotland debut in Six Nations clash with France

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Stirling County winger Rachel Shankland was chosen to make her Scotland debut in Sunday’s Six Nations clash against France in Scotstoun.

Friday October 23, 2020, 4:23 p.m.

Update Friday October 23, 2020, 4:26 p.m.
Rachel Shankland will make her Scotland debut against France on Sunday. Photo: Ross MacDonald / SNS

The national team are returning to action after a lengthy layoff as they seek to finish the championship which has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Scots were due to host France in March, but the game was postponed after an anonymous member of the home team tested positive for coronavirus.

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Scotland lost their first two Six Nations matches to Ireland and England in February and have not played since.

They also lost head coach Philip Doyle who was protecting himself from the risks of coronavirus, then agreed to step down after leave to avoid any potential disruption.

His assistant, Bryan Easson, was placed in interim charge and selected Shankland to make his debut in a third backstroke alongside experienced Chloe Rollie and Megan Gaffney.

Easson said: “Obviously we had to face France in March, so we did a lot of preparation for this game, but we’ve changed a few things since then.

“France are a physical and combative team that will seek to exploit any opportunities they can get, so we are focusing on a positive start and on this opportunity to test ourselves under pressure.

“It was nice to see the players fighting for places before the World Cup qualifiers and Rachel Shankland has been recognized for her efforts over the past two weeks as she now looks to make her debut. It’s also great that Megan Kennedy and Abi Evans are coming back from injury.

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