By Tom Masters
Louise McMillan is fully aware that Scotland’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations opener against England is going to be a huge challenge but insists her side are being positive.
Scotland lost this clash 57-5 last year, with Chloe Rollie’s try the only resistance they were able to put up against an England side that went on to win their fourth Championship on the spin.
But with a first proper pre-Championship training camp under their belts, McMillan is hopeful that this year the squad are able to focus on their strengths rather than England’s remarkable recent TikTok Women’s Six Nations record.
She said: “They are one of the best teams in the world, there is no getting away from that and we know exactly what challenges we are going to face.
“This is now my seventh Six Nations Championship, so we know exactly what it is like to play England, but I think we would like to come from a point of difference this season, it is just trying to make it as much about us as possible and knowing that if we execute our roles, that is the kind of performance we want to put out.
“It is just shifting our focus and instead of looking at the mammoth task ahead, it is a case of saying, ‘ok let’s actually look at what happens if we get our roles right’ and looking at that being our objective rather than focusing on England, it is all about making it all about us.
“It is a really exciting time to be part of this squad, we have got so much talent, and I think it is really exciting that there are now so many of us playing down south that we have actually been able to show that week on week.”
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.
McMillan joined Saracens in the summer and is teammates at club level with several of her opposition on Saturday, including co-captain Marlie Packer and second row opponent Poppy Cleall.
That move to play in the Allianz 15s as a full professional has transformed her life, both in terms of rugby where she now has much more time to recover, and off the pitch where she is now known as one of the happiest members of her squad.
“It is funny because everyone at Saracens knows me as the happiest, bubbliest girl, but I always have to say to them, when I was working I was not like this at all, it has completely changed my life,” she added.
“As much as I did enjoy my job and I was completely supported, my life used to be train, go to work, train and there was not really anything else.
“It is funny, when I got back from the World Cup and was training with Saracens full-time, I was speaking to my coach and was like ‘I feel I need a second job, I just feel like I have too much time on my hands.’
“And he responded: ‘no, that is what it is like being in professional sport – having time to properly recover, not just your body, but your mind, and actually having time to properly watch back training and learn that way - so it has been absolutely amazing for me.”
For all the latest TikTok Women’s Six Nations news, information, and details on how to watch the Championship, visit: https://womens.sixnationsrugby.com/