International stage for local players

Anticipation is building for Hawick pair Ross Graham and Lana Skeldon as they look forward to the return of international rugby next month.

Graham, of the Scotland Under-20s, and Skeldon, a Scotland Women’s internationalist, made their respective final squads through impressive club performances and are poised to take on France, England, Wales, Ireland and Italy over the next month.

Graham, who has been an influential figure for Hawick’s this season, is relishing the opportunity to test himself against the top young talent in Europe

“I’ve been playing really well this season and I want to just keep going. Hopefully the [Scotland] coaches have liked what they’ve seen at training from me and I get
a chance to test myself against some big-time players.

“You play to win and I believe for what I want to achieve in the game this is the perfect platform to show what I can do against top competition and show that I can make the step up to professional level.”

Skeldon, 22, who turns out for Melrose, made her international debut against Wales last year, and said that she can’t wait for another tilt at Europe’s best.

“Since last year’s tournament we’ve all been doing extra work to improve. The team has a mixture of youth and experience and despite the results from 2014 we are all very positive about facing some of the best teams in world rugby.”