Scottish women up for South Africa

LUCY Millard believes Scotland's women need to compete better at the breakdown if they are to test South Africa this afternoon at Hawthornden.

Last Saturday the Scots went down 27-8 to the same opponents in Midlothian, and so disappointed was head coach Gary Parker with aspects of his side's performance that the whole squad had a full-scale training session less than 24 hours later.

Millard, the experienced centre who captains the team today, said: "The Sunday training session was hard, but it was good for us as we knew that we had not played well on Saturday.

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"Since then we have been focusing on competing at the breakdown, being more dominant in defence and really just playing better as a unit."

For this second test Parker has made a number of changes to the starting line-up. In the backs, Katy Green is on the wing, while Erin Kerr is at stand-off in place of Tanya Griffith. Up front, Gilly McCord moves to the second-row with Beth Dickens coming in at prop and young back-row Ruth Slaven getting a run out in the back-row. Others such as Roz Murphy and Keri Holdsworth are likely to get a chance coming off the bench.

Millard added: "There will be a number of players knowing that good individual performances will give them a good chance of getting in the World Cup party. South Africa are a strong, physical team, but we feel we can match them."

Scotland Women (to face South Africa today at Lasswade, kick-off 1pm): N Halfpenny (Melrose); C Hawthorn (Edinburgh University), L Millard (Team Northumbria), V Fitzpatrick (RHC Cougars), K Green (RHC Corstorphine); E Kerr (Wasps), L Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars); H Lockhart (Hillhead/Jordanhill), S-L Walker (Watsonians), B Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers), G McCord (RHC Cougars), L Moffat (Murrayfield Wanderers), L Reid (RHC Cougars), S Brown (Richmond), D Kennedy (Worcester), R Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers). Substitutes: A Macdonald (RHC Cougars), R Murphy (Edinburgh University), L Reid (RHC Cougars), K Holdworth (Watsonians), S Gill (Murrayfield Wanderers), T Griffith (RHC Cougars), S Newton (Team Northumbria).

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