Poppy Fletcher and Megan Gaffney selected for The Thistles
POPPY Fletcher and Megan Gaffney will hope to line up for a Scottish select on Sunday.
The North Berwick duo have been named by Claire Cruikshank as part of The Thistles squad for the inaugural Celtic Challenge competition.
The Thistles will face a Welsh Development XV at Scotstoun in Glasgow before travelling to face a Combined Provinces XV at the Kingspan Stadium on February 4.
Then, it is on to Cardiff Arms Park to face a Welsh Development XV a week later before hosting a Combined Provinces XV at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh on February 25.
The squad comprises of rising talent within the Scottish Futures programme and Tennent’s Premiership, alongside home-based contracted players Elliann Clarke, Emma Orr, Evie Wills and Meryl Smith.
With World Rugby committed to advancing the competitiveness of the elite women’s game, the international federation is financially supporting the Celtic Challenge Pilot in 2023 and continues to be in productive discussions with the IRFU, SRU and WRU on a long-term vision for the competition.
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Cruikshank, who was previously Sweden Women head coach, was delighted to take on the role and was looking forward to the first match, which kicks off at 2.30pm.
She said: “It’s fantastic to have a competition that helps to bridge the gap between the domestic and the elite game and I’m looking forward to working with this group of players and seeing what they can achieve over the next month.”
Fletcher, who left North Berwick High School last year, represented Scotland in the under-18 Women’s Six Nations Festival last year.
The teenager and Gaffney, who represented Scotland at the Rugby World Cup last year, both represent Heriot’s at club level.