The highly regarded New Zealander worked with the national men’s squad throughout the Guinness Six Nations and Pierre Schoeman spoke about him in glowing terms. At the Women’s Six Nations launch last week Scotland skipper Rachel Malcolm said that “hopefully” her squad would get the chance to work with Walsh going forward – and it looks like that is now the case.
“Aaron Walsh has already been into camp a couple of times, he was in last week and he was in on Monday morning,” 26-year-old University of Worcester Warriors’ scrum-half Mattinson said. “He has had some really good input and ideas that we will carry through as a team and try and take advantage of. He has talked about if we get our preparation right then that allows us to be confident and that confidence can then lead to us being creative on the pitch. That’s been the biggest takeaway so far and we now have to work out as individuals what that means for us during this week [in the lead up to the England game], but it’s exciting [having Walsh involved].”
For most of the Scotland squad, Saturday will be the first time they have ever played at Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park ground. However, Inverness-born Mattinson – who earned seven England caps in 2017 and 2018 before switching allegiance last year – knows the ground well. “I played all of my youth rugby at Tynedale which is one of Newcastle’s feeder clubs,” the player who has now made nine Scotland appearances explained. I also played for Northumbria University and we played all of our home games at Kingston Park, so it is a ground I know very well and lots of people I know will be cheering us on given my connections to that area. I am super excited to get the chance to play there for Scotland.”
Saturday’s game is a sell out and England are top of the world rankings, with Scotland 10th.