Siobhan Cattigan: Her background, career, and legacy in Scottish rugby

Siobhan Cattigan had represented Scotland in international rugby since 2018.

Scottish rugby has been mourning the loss of 26-year-old Siobhan Cattigan today, after she died on Friday, November 26.

Her club, Stirling County, announced the tragic news on the evening of Tuesday, November 30.

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Cattigan had represented Scotland in international rugby since her debut against Wales in the 2018 Six Nations, but she had a long history of playing rugby and a passion for the sport that began at a young age.

Scotland’s Siobhan Cattigan during the anthems before the Women's Six Nations match between Scotland and Italy at Scotstoun Stadium, on April 17, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Members of the rugby community have been paying tribute to Cattigan throughout the day.

Here’s more about Siobhan Cattigan’s early interest in rugby, her career internationally and at home, and her legacy in Scottish rugby.

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How did Siobhan Cattigan get into Scottish rugby?

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Siobhan Cattigan in action for Scotland during the Women's Six Nations match between Scotland and Italy.

At the age of five, Cattigan joined McLaren Minis in her hometown of Callander, showing an early interest in the sport.

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Her father was the team coach and also a player at the club, so she had a strong personal connection to both that club and rugby as a whole.

At the age of thirteen, Cattigan stopped playing rugby during high school, but picked it back up again at the age of 19 when she went to the University of Stirling.

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She continued to play rugby and was invited to join the Scottish Rugby pathway squad in 2017 at the age of 22.

She was then included in the squad that outmatched Spain in an uncapped fixture in November 2017.

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Siobhan Cattigan’s legacy in Scottish rugby

The following year, Cattigan made her international debut for Scotland in the 2018 Women’s Six Nations, playing in a match against Wales.

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She came off the bench and into the position of blindside flanker in that game.

Despite a team loss in that first match, Cattigan went on to play in the team’s first away win in 12 years, against Ireland in the same championship.

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Cattigan later said that this historic win for Scotland against Ireland was one of her personal highlights.

Cattigan later toured with the Scottish team in South Africa in 2019, winning against the South African team in Cape Town.

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This year, Cattigan was selected for the 2021 Women’s Six Nations Scottish team and started in the first match against England at number eight.

"[Cattigan] played at 8 against Spain a couple of years ago and performed extremely well,” explained coach Bryan Easson at the time. “Siobhan's always pushed Jade really hard for a starting position anyway, she brings something different."

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Throughout her career, Cattigan made 19 appearances for Scotland, with the final one being in a 2021 Rugby World Cup qualifier in September of this year.

Tributes have been flooding in from rugby players, coaches, and fans since the announcement of her death last night.

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“The thoughts of all our people and players go out to Siobhan’s family and many team mates at Stirling County and Scotland at this incredibly difficult time,” read a statement from Scottish Rugby. “Specialist Scottish Rugby employees are now providing on-going support to those most closely affected.”