2023 TikTok Women's Six Nations Team in Focus: Scotland

·5-min read
Vice-captain Helen Nelson is one of Scotland's must-watch players this TikTok Women's Six Nations (Inpho)

By Ben Hart, Sportsbeat

Scotland are certainly heading in the right direction even if recent results in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations suggest otherwise.

Having been forced to settle for three losing bonus points in 2022, the challenge is to convert competitive performances into wins and with three home fixtures on the cards this year, there is an overwhelming sense of opportunity.

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With a host of players entering their prime and a promising crop of youngsters coming through, now feels like the time for this Scotland side to shake things up.

The appointment of a new and highly regarded attack coach points towards a rebrand and one that could throw off the shackles of the past.

Coach – Bryan Easson

Forced to retire as a player at the age of 25, Bryan Easson was forced to find an alternative means of quenching his thirst for rugby.

Two back surgeries while on the books at Exeter Chiefs led him to begin a career in coaching, which has encompassed the national U20, U18 and U16 teams as well as a spell with club side Edinburgh.

Among the stars he has helped to mould is Stuart Hogg, who became just the fifth Scotland player to pass 100 international caps during the Guinness Six Nations.

Easson stepped up to take the job as head coach in December 2020 following an impressive spell as interim boss, leading the side to a 13-all draw against France.

He then guided Scotland to their first World Cup in 12 years after navigating a repechage tournament which culminated with a win over Colombia in Dubai.

He has added Chris Laidlaw, son of former Scotland legend Roy, to his coaching staff this time round and hopes his appointment can usher in a more aesthetic and efficient style of play.

Captain – Rachel Malcolm

Scotland skipper Rachel Malcolm is bringing through the next generation of talent on both sides of the border.

Malcolm is also an Academic Associate at Nottingham Trent University where her research specialises in the physical responses to heating and cooling during exercise.

She led her country for the first time during the 2019/20 season, having previously captained Allianz Premier 15s side Loughborough Lightning.

An all-action flanker, she has formed one-third of an uncompromising back row alongside former judo champion Rachel McLachlan and the hard-hitting Jade Konkel-Roberts.

With the latter having undergone surgery in February, more responsibility will fall on Malcolm's shoulders but she is never one to shy away from a challenge.

Star Player – Helen Nelson

Vice-captain Helen Nelson was named in last year’s Team of the Championship after a string of eye-catching performances.

Nelson stems from a family with a rich rugby history - the Inverness-born playmaker is the niece of Clare Hoppe, who featured in the first ever Ireland Women’s team.

The Loughborough Lightning ace first had designs for football when she joined Edinburgh University, and though she ultimately went down a different path, her kicking game illustrates a player comfortable with their feet.

She amassed 26 points during the last campaign, a tally which was only topped by three players.

Her big-game experience for Scotland could be vital as they bid to avoid the wooden spoon for a second successive year, having been a part of the team which ended a seven-year wait for a win in the Six Nations back in 2017.

Breakthrough candidate – Fiona Cooper

The uncapped Fiona Cooper has never shied away from taking a step into the unknown, having previously lived – and played rugby – in New Zealand and America.

She made the bold decision to swap Edinburgh for Wasps last year and has reaped the rewards with a first international call up.

The No.8 has more than held her own in her first full season in one of the toughest leagues in the world, which is no surprise given she learnt from a number of Black Ferns while playing for Ponsonby Rugby Club during the year abroad of her international relations degree.

2022 performance

Scotland’s 2022 campaign was a case of what might have been.

After a difficult start against England, Scotland came oh so close to mustering a victory on three separate occasions but fell agonisingly short.

A Ffion Lewis try five minutes from time gave Wales a 24-19 victory over Easson’s side in Round 2.

Then, following a loss against France, they trailed by just three points late on against Italy before Silvia Turani touched down to secure victory for Le Azzurre.

But perhaps the most painful defeat of all came in the Championship finale against Ireland, where Enya Breen’s last-gasp try and conversion condemned Scotland to a winless campaign.

Six Nations Rugby, the official organising body responsible for the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, broke all fan engagement records in 2022 and highlighted its commitment to giving the women’s game the best possible platform to grow. The 2023 edition of the Championship stands to build on this progress, with even bigger crowds expected, more international broadcasters covering all the action and unprecedented social and digital promotion for the heroes of the women’s game.


Scotland will not have thanked the fixture computer for drawing them against England in Round 1 once again.

England legend Sarah Hunter will be making her final international appearance at Kingston Park and a raucous home crowd will be desperate to give the world’s most-capped female player a memorable swansong.

A home fixture with Wales in Round 2 represents a fantastic opportunity to kickstart their campaign, having lost each of their last two games to Ioan Cunningham’s side by less than a score.

Another potentially tricky away day follows in Vannes before two final home matches against Italy and Ireland.

If they can start closing out tight matches, there is no reason why Scotland cannot break into the top four for the first time since 2017.

For all the latest TikTok Women’s Six Nations news, information, and details on how to watch the Championship, visit: https://womens.sixnationsrugby.com/