THREE of Greenock Wanderers Ladies team’s most promising stars were selected for a prestigious challenge match at Murrayfield last weekend, played in front of national selectors.
Prop-forward Lauren Gunn, centre Caitlyn Haldane and her younger sister full-back Erin Haldane all got the nod to represent the West region in the high-profile match against their East region counterparts with Scotland’s Ladies team’s head coach and former international Shade Munro looking on.
The purpose of the fixture is to identify players with potential who will challenge for international honours in the future and ensure that the Scottish selectors and coaches are aware of the emerging talent from across the country.
The Greenock girls were selected after their potential and ability was recognised due to their consistently high level of performance in the club game on a weekly basis.
Gunn is a powerful charging and try-scoring prop forward whose ball carrying ability in open play is exceptional. She is equally at home in the hooker berth and as well as representing Greenock Wanderers has also played regularly for Premiership club Ayr.
Caitlyn Haldane is a founder member of the Greenock Wanderers Ladies team and her penetrative running style, particularly through the midfield channel, allied to her ball carrying and distribution skills ensure that her name is mentioned regularly in senior representative selection meetings.
Sister Erin Haldane’s defensive qualities and devastating tackling style are her major asset but the youngster is also potent in attack and chips in with tries at regular intervals.
Both Haldane sisters are dual registered with Hillhead/Jordanhill and recently played in the Scottish Ladies Premier League Title decider when Scottish champions Murrayfield Wanderers edged out their Glasgow challengers in a winner-takes-all finale to the season.
The local girls were invited through to Murrayfield for two squad sessions last week ahead of the regional district fixture but unfortunately Erin had to withdraw due to a knee injury that failed to clear up in time for the game.
The younger Haldane sibling though has previously caught the eye of senior selectors and is already a Scottish Ladies age group sevens cap with a big rugby future ahead of her.
The match itself was a competitive affair and Haldane senior was selected to start for the West region at centre three-quarter and Gunn was selected on the bench as an impact front row replacement but got plenty of game time being introduced to the fray before half-time.
Both Greenock girls did their prospects no end of good with accomplished performances and Haldane’s ability was showcased to the full when she made the all important support run to set up the winning try for the West region who secured victory by the slender margin of 19-17.
Wanderers Ladies coach Steven Haldane said: “All three girls were delighted to be involved in the fixture and to rub shoulders with some of the best players in the country will give them confidence which they will bring back and feed into the Greenock dressing room.
“Lauren, Caitlyn and Erin only started playing rugby just over two years ago so it shows that there are opportunities for all girls to make an impact in the sport.”
Coach Haldane was keen to emphasise that Wanderers Ladies are still recruiting players and any local girls interested in taking up the sport will be made most welcome at Fort Matilda on Wednesday training nights.
Girls aged under 15 train at 6 until 7pm and the senior ladies train between 7 and 8.30pm.
Wanderers are sponsored by Texas Instruments.