Liz learning all the time and loving step up to Grand Prix level

Liz learning all the time and loving step up to Grand Prix level

29 June, 2018 by Gilson Gray in Blog

In the coming weeks Liz Musgrove will graduate from Edinburgh University, but for now she is fully focused on passing the exam of playing for Scotland Women Sevens on the Rugby Europe Grand Prix circuit in Marcoussis, Paris.

The event, the first of two this summer, takes place on Friday and Saturday and the Scots are involved following promotion last year when they topped the Rugby Europe Trophy standings.

With some full-time teams like England involved in the Grand Prix the Scottish team know this will be a big step up under new head coach Scott Forrest, but you get the feeling that 21-year-old Musgrove will take it all in her stride.

That is because it is less than two years since the flying winger from East Lothian took up the sport – and she has gone on to make her mark in sevens and with the Scotland XV-a-side team in this year’s Six Nations.

She took up rugby in September 2016 as she embarked on her third year studying sports science at Edinburgh University.

In her first season, Musgrove helped Edinburgh University Women become the first Scottish team to reach the British Universities & College Sport (BUCS) final in 19 years.

The jump into rugby came after 11 years competing in national and international judo competitions as well as being a talented athlete.

“It has been an amazing journey for me really,” she admitted.

“I sat down last week and really though about what had happened in the last couple of years and it is hard to believe.

“Playing for Scotland Sevens last summer was a massive thing for me because before that I had only played a handful of sevens events for the university, but what really helped me was that I had a great coach in Scott Wight while the girls around me who were more experience helped me with my positioning and things like that.

“Now Scott Forrest is in charge, but like Scott Wight he has great experience in the sevens game and we all cannot wait to test ourselves in the Grand Prix.

“We have been very clear in the training camps about what we want to work and improve on while what has ben amazing to see is how the newer players have come in and certainly not looked out of place at all.

“It is quite strange for me having just one year of sevens under my belt and feeling like an experienced member of the group, but we are such a close squad who play for each other no matter your age or experience.

“I am expecting the pace of the games to be a bit quicker in the Grand Prix and your skills are really put under the microscope, but we just have to focus on our own performance and see where it takes it.

“I could not have imagined the places rugby would have taken me in the last 18 months or so, I am just enjoying the experience at a very exciting time for women’s rugby in Scotland.

“When we get back from this trip I graduate in sports science, but for now the Grand Prix is the only thing on my mind.”

In  terms of the squad that is in France, having impressed at the Amsterdam Sevens warm-up event, Hannah Chrisp and Evie Gallagher make their competitive Scotland Women Sevens debuts.

Also drafted in is Rachel McLachlan (West of Scotland) and Helen Nelson is the skipper.

Head coach Forrest said: “Our preparations have gone well over the last month and winning in Amsterdam was reward for our consistent performances during the tournament.

“The squad are looking forward to Marcoussis and understand that this will be another step up in competition.”

The group on Friday includes Ireland (12.44pm), Wales (3.51pm) and Poland (6.35pm) with the likes of France, England and Russia also involved in the high quality event.

Forrest added: “It’s great to be able to select a consistent squad as we target another set of strong performances against top opposition.”

Following the tournament in Paris the squad will travel to Kazan, Russia on September 1 and 2 to complete the Grand Prix series.

Squad

Abi Evans (Hillhead/Jordanhill)

Chloe Rollie (Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois)

Eilidh Sinclair (Murrayfield Wanderers)

Evie Gallagher (Stirling County)

Hannah Chrisp (Murrayfield Wanderers)

Rachel McLachlan (West of Scotland)

Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers)

Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning)

Lauren Harris (Edinburgh University)

Lisa Martin (DMP Sharks)

Liz Musgrove (Edinburgh University)

Louise McMillan (Hillhead/Jordanhill)