England wing Jess Breach wary of rapidly improving Scotland in Six Nations clash

By Sports Desk April 12, 2024

Jess Breach insists England enter unknown territory when they meet a rapidly improving Scotland in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations on Saturday.

The Red Roses have not lost in the fixture since suffering an 8-5 defeat in 1998 but that record faces its sternest test yet at a sold-out Hive Stadium in Edinburgh, where a record crowd of 7,774 will be attendance.

Scotland toppled Wales in Cardiff in round one before being edged by France a week later and, having won the WXV 2 tournament in October, there is evidence the 28 professional contracts awarded at the end of 2022 are raising standards.

England remain favourites but wing Breach insists the element of jeopardy is good for the Red Rose and the Six Nations.

“It is going to be a really competitive game. And we’ve probably never been in this scenario with Scotland before,” said Breach, who has won on all 35 of her caps.

“Everyone’s really excited because it’s going to be challenging for us. Hopefully we can showcase really good rugby for the fans.

“It’s great for the competition. You can see that every nation is getting better after being contracted.

“Italy put up a great fight against us in the first half, so it just shows that if money is pumped into the game and players are allowed to go full time, the Six Nations gets better.”

Demonstrating the growth of women’s rugby is that Scotland’s victory 26 years ago was staged at an independent school in Edinburgh, compared to a packed Hive Stadium in 2024.

“It feels like we’re growing and heading in the right direction. Every nation wants big crowds,” Breach said.

“That’s happening at the moment and heading into the 2025 World Cup we should be able to sell most stadiums out. It’s exciting and who doesn’t want to be part of women’s rugby?”

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