Women's Six Nations: Helen Nelson wants Scotland to end on a high but knows ultimate goal is World Cup qualification

Helen Nelson wants Scotland to finish their Six Nations campaign on a high but knows there are bigger goals to achieve this year.

By Graham Bean
Friday, 23rd April 2021, 10:00 pm
Helen Nelson will captain Scotland in the Women's Six Nations match against Wales. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS
Helen Nelson will captain Scotland in the Women's Six Nations match against Wales. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS

The Scots host Wales on Saturday in the fifth-sixth place play-off with both sides chasing their first win in the tournament this season.

A wooden spoon is the unwanted prize on offer to the losers as the truncated competition comes to a conclusion after three rounds of fixtures.

Nelson who will captain Scotland in the absence of the injured Rachel Malcolm, returns to the stand-off berth after playing at inside centre in last weekend’s loss to Italy. It’s a switch with which she feels comfortable.

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“I tend to play 12 in a way so that we can swap in and out, as a first receiver, so it doesn’t make too much difference,” she said. “We still have Sarah Law on the bench, she played really well last week and she is always chipping in from the side making sure her thoughts are heard so it doesn’t change too much for me in terms of preparation.”

Wales come into the game on the back of heavy defeats to France and Ireland and are still seeking their first points in the tournament.

A home win at Scotstoun would be good for Scottish morale, particularly with World Cup qualifiers to come later in the year.

“A win would be very good for our confidence and belief,” said Nelson. “It has been a tough year, ultimately our end goal and end aim is the World Cup qualifiers so it’s not the be all and end all to win, it is about performance and getting ourselves to the World Cup next year.”

Scotland (v Wales, Women’s Six Nations, Scotstoun, Saturday, 5pm, live on BBC Scotland)

15. Chloe Rollie; 14. Liz Musgrove, 13. Hannah Smith, 12. Lisa Thomson, 11. Megan Gaffney; 10. Helen Nelson (c), 9. Jenny Maxwell; 1. Christine Belisle, 2. Lana Skeldon, 3. Megan Kennedy, 4. Emma Wassell, 5. Louise McMillan, 6. Evie Gallagher, 7. Rachel McLachlan, 8. Siobhan Cattigan.

Substitutes: 16. Jodie Rettie, 17. Leah Bartlett, 18. Lisa Cockburn, 19. Nicola Howat, 20. Mairi McDonald, 21. Sarah Law, 22. Evie Wills, 23. Rachel Shankland.