Scotland head coach Philip Doyle has issued a warning to England ahead of Sunday’s second-round Six Nations clash - the Scottish are coming and they’re more motivated than ever, writes Rachel Steinberg.
Doyle, who led Ireland to Grand Slam glory in 2013 before taking over as Scotland boss last May, insists he’s seen enormous improvement from the team who finished bottom of the table last year.
They may have narrowly lost out to Ireland 18-14 in their 2020 opener, but their performance was a vast improvement on last year’s 22-5 defeat in the same fixture and Doyle reckons it’s only a matter of time until his side will be changing the Women's Six Nations score.
“It’s time. I want to close the gap on other nations,” he said. “We’ve been wallowing down at the far end of the table too long.
“I came in and had to change the girls’ frame of mind and ability to change behaviours on and off the pitch and their willingness to learn, to buy into what I’m trying to get through to them - they’ve done with abundance.
“That for me is the most rewarding thing. They’re believing in what we’re trying to do from a coaching perspective and we’re playing a slightly different brand of rugby.”
Preparations continue. 🏉
Scotland Women are getting ready for Sunday's match against England at Scotstoun Stadium, kick-off 12.10pm - live on @bbcalba. Tickets available at https://t.co/mmT2XzonUC. #AsOne pic.twitter.com/t4tv5na8CX
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 6, 2020
Scotland, who lost 80-0 to England in last year's edition, will again face a buoyant Red Roses side after they claimed their first away Women’s Six Nations victory over Les Bleues since 2012 last weekend.
READ MORE: Women's Six Nations Preview: England continue title quest
But they proved their resilience against Ireland when they rallied back from 13-0 in their 18-14 loss in Dublin and Doyle is confident his players can mount a challenge against the reigning Grand Slam champions in Scotstoun.
“We will not make it easy for England at home,” he added.
“We are under no illusion of how strong they are going to be but for us it is a matter of playing our type of rugby against them rather than just trying to stop them.
“They really want this. You can see it in their eyes. I just want them to be the best they can be.
“The girls adore Scotstoun. I was really surprised because I thought why don’t you want to play in Murrayfield? But no, Scotstoun’s where it’s at. Fantastic stadium, beautiful pitch, great crowds.
“The Scottish people are really starting to buy into us and come to support the girls.”