Scotland v Italy: Sarah Law is backed to pull the strings at stand-off

Scotland coach Bryan Easson has backed Sarah Law to produce all the right moves after reshuffling his back line for the Women’s Six Nations match against Italy on Saturday.
Scotland stand-off Sarah Law is fit and ready to take on Italy. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNSScotland stand-off Sarah Law is fit and ready to take on Italy. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS
Scotland stand-off Sarah Law is fit and ready to take on Italy. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS

Easson compared Law to a chess player as he explained his decision to bring her in at stand-off for the Scotstoun clash, a change that sees Helen Nelson move to inside centre.

The match will decide which team goes forward into the third-place play-off, with England having already won Pool A.

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Law is on the comeback trail after injury and was on the bench for the 52-10 defeat by England in Doncaster on the opening weekend. Nelson, who will captain Scotland against Italy in the absence of the injured Rachel Malcolm, was stand-off at Castle Park.

Easson thinks the new midfield blend can work well for Scotland, with Law pulling the strings.

“What Sarah does as a 10 is she moves the pawns around the pitch well and what I mean is that she is a 10 in the women’s game who can think two or three phases ahead rather than phase by phase. With her and Helen at 10 and 12, they are both confident rugby players.

“Sarah is desperate to get going, it has been a long time since she played and she’ll be fine.

“She had an Achilles injury, we just had to monitor and modify her recovery, but she has really pushed on in the last few months. She is ready to start and can play 80 minutes if required.”

Lisa Thomson moves from 12 to 13 to accommodate Nelson, with Hannah Smith, the outside centre against England, unavailable due to her commitments with the GB Sevens squad.

Evie Gallagher will make her first Scotland start at blindside flanker in place of Malcolm. There is also a change at tighthead where Megan Kennedy returns after injury. Christine Belisle drops to the bench.

Liz Musgrove is picked on the wing in place of Rachel Shankland.

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Scotland (v Italy, Women's Six Nations, Saturday, Scotstoun, 5pm)

Chloe Rollie; Liz Musgrove, Lisa Thomson, Helen Nelson (c), Megan Gaffney; Sarah Law, Mairi McDonald; Leah Bartlett, Lana Skeldon, Megan Kennedy, Emma Wassell, Louise McMillan, Evie Gallagher, Rachel McLachlan, Siobhan Cattigan.

Substitutes: Jodie Rettie, Lisa Cockburn, Panashe Muzambe, Christine Belisle, Nicola Howat, Jenny Maxwell, Evie Wills, Coreen Grant.

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