Second-row Wassell eager to make her mark in first start

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Teenage second-row Emma Wassell has a few nerves going into her first start for Scotland tomorrow in Italy, but is confident the experienced players around her will help her out. The Scots are looking for their first win – and indeed their first points – of the 2014 RBS Six Nations.

Ellon-raised 19-year-old Wassell has impressed off the bench in the matches against Ireland and England and now she is in the starting XV for the first time. It has been a sharp rise to the top for her, joining Murrayfield Wanderers in 2012 after she moved to Edinburgh to study and since then catching the eye at club and under-20 level.

Before the team flew out to Italy yesterday, she said: “It has been a great experience to be involved with the full squad and to come off the bench against Ireland and England to get my first two caps was brilliant.

“It is great to be starting this weekend and the forwards have been working really hard in training as we know that the set piece will be key against the Italians. In attack we know that we have to be more clinical when chances come our way.”

Anna Stodter, who has also only come into the squad this season, starts at No 8 while Watsonians’ Karen Dunbar and Ayr teenager Emily Irving could make their debuts from the bench after being included by head coach Jules Maxton.

Italy go into this one having won one and lost one so far – causing a shock in round one by winning in Wales 12-11.

Scotland women: Steph Johnston; Annabel Sergeant, Gillian Inglis, Laura Steven, Katy Green; Lisa Martin, Louise Dalgliesh; Heather Lockhart, Lindsey Smith, Tracy Balmer, Deborah McCormack, Emma Wassell, Ruth Slaven, Anna Stodter, Tess Forsberg. Subs: Lana Skeldon, Lisa Robertson, Karen Dunbar, Jade Konkel, Rachael Cook, Sarah Law, Tanya Griffith, Emily Irving.