Evans and Nelson rev up for rugby Grand Prix


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Oban’s Abi Evans and Helen Nelson, from Glencoe, have been named in the Scotland Sevens squad that will travel to the second leg of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Kharkiv, Ukraine, this weekend.

Scotland captain Helen Nelson during a training session prior to the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Biarritz on June 12. Photograph: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby.

Nelson, centre, will continue as captain and will be joined by winger Evans, Megan Gaffney, Lisa Thomson, Jenny Maxwell, Chloe Rollie, Hannah Smith, Rachel McLachlan, Liz Musgrove and Rhona Lloyd, all of whom played in Marcoussis last month.

Eighteen-year-old Meryl Smith, who made her debut for Scotland Women 7s at the World Series leg in Biarritz, will return to the squad along with Scotland Women’s hooker Lana Skeldon who, after capped 34 times for the national XVs squad, will be hoping to receive her first sevens cap.

At the first leg in Marcoussis in June, Scotland came sixth. The result means that they are the highest ranked non-World Series core nation going into the second leg this weekend.

If Scotland finish the Grand Prix as a top three non-World Series core nation, they will be invited to the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series qualifiers in 2020. If they are the top non-World Series core nation, they will be invited again to the last leg of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in France in 2020.

Head coach Scott Forrest said: ‘We are going into leg two of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix in a positive place thanks to our finish last month.

‘If we can hold this standard and play the way we have been playing, I am confident that we will be able to get a place in the World Series qualifiers again.’

For the second leg of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix, Scotland have been placed in pool A with France, Poland and hosts Ukraine.