Scotland kick-off World Cup qualification bid against Italy

Scotland’s bid to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2021 will begin with a match against Italy a week on Monday.

Chloe Rollie, who has joined Exeter, in action against Italy who Scotland will face in the opening match of the World Cup qualifying tournament in Parma. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS

World Rugby has confirmed the match schedule for the four-team Europe qualifier, which will be played in a round-robin format in Parma’s Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

Bryan Easson’s Scotland women’s team will face the hosts on September 13 (kick-off 2.30pm BST), then take on Spain six days later (5.30pm) before finishing up against Ireland on September 25 (5.30pm).

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The team which finishes top will book a place in Pool B at the World Cup alongside the USA, Canada and an Asian qualifier, while the runner-up will enter the Final Qualification Tournament. Rugby World Cup 2021 is taking place in New Zealand in autumn 2022 but will retain its original title.

Hollie Davidson, the Scottish referee, will officiate at the qualifying tournament.

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Meanwhile, Chloe Rollie, one of the Scotland squad’s most experienced players, has joined Exeter Chiefs. The 26-year-old full-back moves to Sandy Park after a spell at Harlequins.

The men’s club game returns this weekend but the Tennent’s Premiership match between Aberdeen Grammar and Edinburgh Accies has been postponed due to a Covid outbreak in the former’s squad.

A statement from Aberdeen said: “The club has followed all the reporting protocols regarding Track and Trace and with the Scottish Rugby Union. The Championship Committee was convened by the SRU and decided on the grounds of player and public safety the match could not proceed as planned. It will be rescheduled at the first available opportunity and the date will be confirmed during the week commencing 6th September 2021.”

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