Siobhan Cattigan on Scotland players' minds 'at all times' ahead of World Cup qualifier

Head coach Bryan Easson says Siobhan Cattigan, the Scotland Women’s rugby international who passed away suddenly just over two months ago, is “on the players’ minds at all times” as the squad prepare for their final World Cup qualifier later this month.

Scotland Women want to qualify for the World Cup in memory of Siobhan Cattigan, pictured, who passed away suddenly just over two months ago. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Scotland Women want to qualify for the World Cup in memory of Siobhan Cattigan, pictured, who passed away suddenly just over two months ago. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

And Easson wants his charges to win their one remaining match against either Kazakhstan or Columbia in Dubai on February 25 that would take them to the showpiece event in New Zealand later this year in memory of Cattigan after the “devastating” news.

The 26-year-old - known to team mates and friends as ‘Shibby’ - died on November 26 and the whole of the Scottish rugby community was in shock.

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The Stirling County back-row started all three of the Scots’ Six Nations games in 2021 at No.8 and was part of the squad that travelled to Italy in September for the European leg of the World Cup qualifiers, winning the last of her 19 caps versus Spain.

“Siobhan’s passing was very difficult for everyone involved,” Easson said.

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“She was an integral part of our squad, she played a lot of games whilst I have been coaching with this group and she played most recently in the World Cup qualifiers in Italy.

“As a result, the shock of the news was devastating for everyone involved.

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“Siobhan will always be in our memories and the fact that she has been with us for part of the process [trying to get to a World Cup] means that we will take her with us [to Dubai] and continue the process of trying to get to New Zealand for her as well.

“Getting to the World Cup has been a huge driving factor for all of us for a long time and the fact that Siobhan was with us in Italy just a few months ago means she is on the players’ minds at all times.”

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Easson has added former England scrum-half Caitly Mattinson to the 30-strong squad that will travel on February 13, the Inverness-born Worcester Warriors player qualifying via the new eligibility rule that came into effect at the start of the year via World Rugby.

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