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Munlochy rugby star and former Inverness Craig Dunain player Jade Konkel-Roberts named in Scotland squad for Rugby World Cup in New Zealand

By Andrew Henderson

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Jade Konkel-Roberts will be getting on a plane to New Zealand next week as her place in Scotland’s World Cup squad has been confirmed.

The 28-year-old from Munlochy, who played for Inverness Craig Dunain in her early years in rugby having watched her mum, dad and brothers turn out for the club as a child, will be competing in her first Rugby World Cup.

It will undoubtedly be a proud moment for Konkel, who became Scotland’s first professional women’s player in the summer of 2016, and is one of four players in the squad with more than 50 caps to her name.

Jade Konkel-Roberts will be competing in her first Rugby World Cup. Picture: SRU/SNS Group
Jade Konkel-Roberts will be competing in her first Rugby World Cup. Picture: SRU/SNS Group

Scotland had consistently qualified after hosting the tournament in 1994, but have missed the last two editions after failing to qualify from their regional competition.

That threatened to be the case again this time around.

Italy won the initial European qualifier to join England, France and Wales – all automatically reaching the World Cup based on performances in the 2017 tournament – in New Zealand.

The Scots, then, were left to battle through a repechage tournament that was supposed to include countries from the other continents.

Samoa, though, withdrew due to logistical challenges.

That left Kazakhstan and Colombia to play a semi final, which the latter won to earn the right to face Scotland, the highest ranked team in the repechage.

Scotland’s standing on the global stage would tell, as they swept the South Americans aside 59–3 to claim the fifth and final qualification place.

They were then drawn in a group with defending champions New Zealand, Australia and Wales – who the Scots will face in their opening match on Sunday, October 9.

There are three pools, with the top two teams getting through to the quarter finals alongside the best two third-placed teams.

Now that the squad is confirmed, excitement can finally start to build for the likes of Konkel-Roberts and Caity Mattinson, who was also born in Inverness before growing up in Northumberland, after the World Cup was delayed from 2021 due to the pandemic.

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