Munlochy rugby player Jade Konkel named in Scotland squad vying for final qualifying place at Rugby World Cup 2021
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Jade Konkel is set to help Scotland’s bid to claim the final qualifying spot for the Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand.
Delayed because of the pandemic, Scotland are the top ranked team in the last qualifying tournament, taking place this month in Dubai.
That gives them the advantage of knowing they will face the winner of Kazakhstan against Colombia in the final match of the tournament on Friday, February 25.
Harlequins number eight Konkel, who was the first female player to earn a professional contract with Scottish Rugby, is the most experienced player in the squad, but one of the big headlines coming out of head coach Bryan Easson’s 30-player squad announcement centred around someone in line to make their Scotland debut.
Caity Mattinson, born in Inverness, had made seven international appearances for England across 2017 and 2018.
However, World Rugby introduced a new eligibility rule at the start of the year that means the Worcester Warriors scrum half is now allowed to make a second international debut for her country of birth.
University of Edinburgh duo Meryl Smith and Eva Donaldson are the other two uncapped players to feature, while 10 players in the squad have 30 caps or more to their name already.
“We’ve have been encouraged by the performances the squad have produced over the past few months so we haven’t made too many changes to our preparations,” Easson said.
“The ability to select a 30-player squad has been a real positive for us, as we can keep working with the group that featured in the qualifiers in Parma, while also introducing some new players to the squad.
“It’s also great to have Caity Mattinson join the programme as well.
“As she hasn’t played for England within the past three years, she is eligible to join Scotland through World Rugby’s recent rule amendment.
“Caity has been really keen to return to international rugby and play for Scotland so it will be great to see her involved with the group.”
It has also been confirmed that Easson will be assisted by Gordon Henderson in Dubai.