TikTok Women's Six Nations Preview: Scotland v Wales

Keira Bevan, right, will reach 50 caps for Wales in Edinburgh this weekend
Keira Bevan, right, will reach 50 caps for Wales in Edinburgh this weekend (©INPHO/Robbie Stephenson)

If their 2022 encounters are anything to go by Wales' visit to Scotland is set to be the highlight of Round 2 of the TikTok Women's Six Nations.

Ioan Cunningham's side overturned a 12-point deficit in the second half to secure Wales back-to-back wins in last year's Championship, going on to finish third.

Wales have the chance to do the same again this time, and their last-gasp win over Scotland in the Rugby World Cup last autumn will provide plenty of fuel for both sides.

Scotland suffered a bruising 58-7 defeat to holders England last time out at Kingston Park as their new-look backline got a first taste of international action together.

Wales enjoyed jubilant full-time scenes at Cardiff Arms Park meanwhile, as they defeated Ireland 31-5 in front of a record crowd.

The win saw them leapfrog Ireland into eighth in the World Rugby rankings to sit two places above Scotland and they will be hoping to keep climbing at DAM Health Stadium on Saturday.

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.

Team News

Scotland are unchanged from their trip to Newcastle last week, with Chloe Rollie continuing at full-back having been named in the 15 jersey in the Team of the Round.

She was the only Scottish representative in the side, although Evie Gallagher impressed at No.8 - the 22-year-old once again lines up alongside captain Rachel Malcolm and Rachel McLachlan in the back row.

Wales had four players in the Team of the Round and all four keep their place in the starting XV with Sioned Harries the only change as she replaces the injured Gwen Crabb.

Player of the Match Sisilia Tuipulotu will pack down with Gwenllian Pyrs in the front row with scrum-half Keira Bevan set to earn her 50th cap.

Captain Hannah Jones continues at centre with Carys Phillips, Cara Hope and Natalia John named among the replacements to make their first appearances of the 2023 Championship.

What they said

Scotland head coach Bryan Easson said: "We've gone for the same 15 and the same bench that started against England last week.

"We felt the performances from the starting 15 and also the replacements, who brought a lot of energy, was enough to give them another opportunity to show some of the green shoots that we showed last week against England.

"DAM Health is a brilliant venue, it really is great to be home. It's our ground. When you're at home that is when you throw in the performances that your home crowd can be proud of.

"The atmosphere is always outstanding and we really want to make it a feel-good venue for us, but difficult for any opposition coming."

Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham said: "This team deserves the opportunity to build on the performance against Ireland for what we know will be a tough challenge away in Scotland.

"Scotland will still be hurting after the manner of our victory at the World Cup in New Zealand.

"While the Ireland win was one of the best performances we have produced as a team in Cardiff there are plenty of areas to improve on. We have worked on those facets all week.

"The bonus-point win showed we can score tries and that is one of the areas we have targeted to improve on in this campaign. To score those tries will give us real confidence in the way we want to play and attack."

Key Battle: Francesca McGhie v Carys Williams-Morris

Almost ten years separate Scotland's Francesca McGhie from her Welsh counterpart on the left wing Carys Williams-Morris.

Despite the gap in age, in experience, they are closely matched, Williams-Morris representing Wales five times while McGhie shone on debut last week.

Twenty-year-old McGhie may only have represented Scotland once but has tasted victory with Watsonians in the Tennant's Women's Premiership last year before impressing in the Celtic Challenge earlier in 2023.

Williams-Morris has kicked on massively since joining the Wales programme full-time, having been awarded elite athlete status by the RAF with whom she serves as a flying officer.

Saturday's match-up will see youthful exuberance go head-to-head with military precision.

Stat Attack

Wales have won 14 of their last 16 TikTok Women's Six Nations matches against Scotland, losing the other two, with both of those defeats coming in their last three trips to Scotland.

Scotland had the highest carry dominance rate of any side in the opening round of this year's Championship with 50%.

Wales recorded a tackle success rate of 92% in the opening round of this year's TikTok Women's Six Nations, the highest rate of any team and their highest in the Championship since registering 94% against Scotland last year.

Fantasy Watch

Chloe Rollie was one of the best Fantasy performers in Round 1 providing 67.2 points as she made 156 metres, the most of any player, scoring one try and making two line-breaks. Rollie will cost you 16.4 stars, but may be worth the risk having impressed against England's defence last time out. If you do not want to break the bank, Meryl Smith could be a smart selection at centre at just 10.1 stars.

Sioned Harries was Wales' top point-scorer against Ireland, as she came off the bench after just six minutes as an injury replacement for Gwen Crabb. Harries is given a starting berth against Scotland and will look to build on the 11 tackles, one lineout steal and one try registered at Cardiff Arms Park. The No.8 will set you back 12.1 stars, while Bethan Lewis is a slightly cheaper alternative in the back row at 10.7 stars.

The teams

Scotland: 15 Chloe Rollie, 14 Coreen Grant, 13 Emma Orr, 12 Meryl Smith, 11 Francesca McGhie, 10 Helen Nelson, 9 Caity Mattinson; 1 Leah Bartlett, 2 Lana Skeldon, 3 Christine Belisle, 4 Lyndsay O'Donnell, 5 Louise McMillan, 6 Rachel Malcolm (captain), 7 Rachel McLachlan, 8 Evie Gallagher

Replacements: 16 Jodie Rettie, 17 Anne Young, 18 Elliann Clarke, 19 Eva Donaldson, 20 Eilidh Sinclair, 21 Mairi McDonald, 22 Beth Blacklock, 23 Liz Musgrove

Wales: 15 Courtney Keight, 14 Lisa Neumann, 13 Hannah Jones (captain), 12 Kerin Lake, 11 Carys Williams-Morris, 10 Elinor Snowsill, 9 Keira Bevan; 1 Gwenllian Pyrs, 2 Kelsey Jones, 3 Sisilia Tuipulotu, 4 Abbie Fleming, 5 Georgia Evans, 6 Bethan Lewis, 7 Alex Callender, 8 Sioned Harries

Replacements: 16 Carys Phillips, 17 Cara Hope, 18 Cerys Hale, 19 Natalia John, 20 Kate Williams, 21 Ffion Lewis, 22 Lleucu George, 23 Hannah Bluck

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