The 2022 championship kicks off in Edinburgh

Women’s Six Nations Scotland v England Preview

The Women’s Six Nations is back with a bang as the opening game will see defending champions England take on Scotland.

The Red Roses defeated France in the 2021 final after the tournament’s format was condensed due to Covid. It was the first year the women’s tournament was held separately to the men’s and millions of fans tuned in.

Now, in 2022, we will see the women’s event in a standalone window once more, but this time with a full schedule.

Last year England came out 52-10 victors against the Scots and Simon Middleton’s team are the favourites heading into the match this year too. They are on a 18-Test winning streak and their impressive form in the autumn Internationals resulted in two record victories over reigning world champions New Zealand.

But Scotland have been through a lot in the past 12 months that could prove beneficial. They secured Rugby World Cup qualification after a last-minute win over Ireland and a more comfortable victory over Colombia. Those experiences will have taught the players a lot and will have boosted their self-belief.

So it is set to be a huge clash in Edinburgh and here is all you need to know about the match in our Women’s Six Nations Scotland v England preview.

What’s the big team news?

No 8 Jade Konkel will lead the Scotland team out on the occasion of her 50th cap. She is joined by captain Rachel Malcolm and Rachel McLachlan in the back row, with Emma Wassell, who has played 52 consecutive Tests for Scotland, and Louise McMillan the lock pairing.

In the backs, Helen Nelson and Jenny Maxwell are at half-back. Chloe Rollie gets the nod at full-back with Rhona Lloyd and Megan Gaffney finishing off the back three. And from the bench, Meryl Smith could win her first cap.

For England, Emily Scarratt returns after injury kept her out of the autumn Tests and she is named vice-captain. She and Holly Aitchison make up the centre pairing with Helena Rowland getting the nod at ten over Zoe Harrison.

In the forwards, Rosie Galligan will win her first cap in three years at lock and Sarah Hunter, who is named as captain once again, starts at No 8.

Emma Sing could win her first cap from the bench if called upon.

What have the coaches said?

Scotland head coach Bryan Easson said: “We are looking for a concerted effort of consistency in our performance this weekend and making sure we play for the full 80 minutes.

“We are aware of the challenge that England will pose on Saturday so it’s hugely important we stick to our systems and processes, while also keeping a good discipline throughout the match.”

England head coach Simon Middleton said: “We go into this year’s Six Nations with some clear objectives in terms of the improvements we are looking for in our performances. The players are crystal clear in terms of how we want to play and what we want our game to look like.

“They have trained exceptionally hard and every session we have improved our accuracy and execution. What we now need to find out is which players can put the best version of our game on the field come the big occasion. Playing Scotland in Scotland is one such occasion.”

What time does Scotland v England kick off and is it on TV?

Scotland v England will kick-off at 12pm on Saturday 26 March at the DAM Heath Stadium. Tickets are still available – see how to buy Women’s Six Nations tickets.

The match will be shown live on BBC Two in the UK and for information on how to watch the match elsewhere in the world read our Women’s Six Nations live stream guide.

Joy Neville will referee the game with Aurélie Groizeleau and Maria Beatrice Benvenuti assisting. Matteo Liperini will be the TMO.

If you want to keep track of all the fixtures, download our Women’s Six Nations wallchart.

What are the line-ups?

Scotland: Chloe Rollie; Rhona Lloyd, Hannah Smith, Lisa Thomson, Megan Gaffney; Helen Nelson, Jenny Maxwell; Leah Bartlett, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Louise McMillan, Rachel Malcolm (captain), Rachel McLachlan, Jade Konkel.

Replacements: Molly Wright, Lisa Cockburn, Katie Dougan, Lyndsay O’Donnell, Eva Donaldson, Sarah Law, Meryl Smith, Shona Campbell.

England: Ellie Kildunne; Heather Cowell, Emily Scarratt, Holly Aitchison, Abby Dow; Helena Rowland, Leanne Infante; Maud Muir, Lark Davies, Sarah Bern, Rosie Galligan, Abbie Ward, Poppy Cleall, Marlie Packer, Sarah Hunter (captain).

Replacements: Connie Powell, Vickii Cornborough, Bryony Cleall, Sarah Beckett, Alex Matthews, Lucy Packer, Amber Reed, Emma Sing.

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