Scotland Women get message from Biffy Clyro ahead of World Cup date with destiny
World-famous Scottish band Biffy Clyro are amongst those that have sent ‘good luck’ messages to the Scotland rugby squad ahead of their final Women’s World Cup qualifier in Dubai on Friday – now it is up to the players to hit the high notes on the pitch.
The Scots, led by head coach Bryan Easson and captain Rachel Malcolm, are just 80 minutes away from heading to New Zealand for the showpiece event in October and November.
Colombia do not have a rich history in Test rugby and Scotland, who have not been at a World Cup since 2010, have found footage of the 25th ranked team in the world hard to come by.
Ninth in the world Scotland will start as overwhelming favourites in the Sevens Stadium in the UAE, but having seen Colombia shock Kazakhstan in the semi-final, Easson and his charges are certainly taking nothing for granted.
The head coach has tried to help the players take a step back from the emotion of the occasion and focus on just beating the Colombians, but there were set to a few tears last night [Thursday] in the team hotel.
“The plan is to show them ‘good luck’ videos from ex-players, family, current internationalists – both male and female – and some bands too,” Easson explained, revealing there is a message from Biffy Clyro, amongst them.
“I’m sure there will be a few tears shed when the players see the videos, but it just shows them what everyone thinks of this group. They want to win this game for themselves, but they also want to win it for everyone back home as the support has been incredible and they are keen to inspire.”
Easson has picked his strongest starting XV available – minus the 25-cap second-row Sarah Bonar who has an ankle injury and the suspended 30-cap centre Hannah Smith – and the starting XV have 515 caps between them.
There are another 55 caps to call upon off the bench and second-row Eva Donaldson and former England scrum-half Caity Mattinson could make their debuts.
It was quite an easy decision for me to make to be honest,” Easson said about his starting team.
“When you look at a game like this experienced heads help, especially because the team is under a bit more pressure than we have been before.
“We have been in tight situations before, namely against Spain and Ireland in the European qualifiers in Italy, so we have coped with pressure, but the more experience you have the better.
“I think just picking the experienced group gives us the focus that we require.
“They have been on a long journey and to get to a World Cup – and a World Cup in New Zealand at that – well that would be the ultimate for everyone here.”