Four players from Watsonians and three from Edinburgh University are included by Chris Duncan, Scotland’s interim coach, for this weekend’s double-header against Wales.

Duncan, director of hockey at Edinburgh Academy, believes the matches will be “extremely useful” as the Scotland women’s squad enter the final phase of their build-up for next month’s FIH World Cup qualifiers.

The non-capped matches at Auchenhowie near Glasgow follow recent clashes with the Great Britain Elite Development squad at Peffermill and are ahead of the qualifiers in Pisa in late October.

It’s a tough assignment in Italy as Scotland need to win the eight-team knockout competition to qualify for the World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands next summer.

Duncan added: “The players have invested a tremendous amount of time and effort into embedding ideas and structures. This has coincided with the beginning of the Premiership in Scotland so it has been a big ask for everybody involved, and the players and staff have been fantastic.

“In our recent games against the GB Elite Development Squad (EDP) we tried out different variations and combinations of players and learned a great deal about our defensive systems.

“The matches against Wales will be different. They will be at full-strength with the inclusion of their Great Britain players, Leah Wilkinson and Sarah Jones, who are fresh from their Tokyo bronze medal success.”
Scotland play Poland in their opening game in Pisa and they beat Wales in the recent European B Division.

Also, Wales are in the same half of the draw as the Tartan Hearts – Scotland’s nickname – in Italy and Duncan, head of hockey at Edinburgh Academy, said: “The opportunity to test ourselves against another team in the competition is invaluable.”

SCOTLAND: Becky Ward (capt), Kate Holmes (Western Wildcats), Bex Condie (capt, Gloucester City), Bronwyn Shields, Millie Steiger, Iona Colquhoun, Jennifer Eadie (Clydesdale Western), Charlotte Watson (Loughborough University), Ellie Wilson, Emily Dark, Lucy Camlin, Sarah Jamieson (Watsonians), Fiona Burnet (Wimbledon), Georgia Jones, Jess Ross, Katie Robertson (Edinburgh University), Heather McEwan (Royal Victory), Jess Buchanan (Athletic Terrassa), Kerry-Anne Hastings (Durham University).