Experienced Scotland hooker Lana Skeldon says there has been a shift in the team’s mentality as they prepare for their Women’s Six Nations opener against Wales on Saturday.  

Scotland go into this year’s campaign having won the WXV2 tournament in South Africa at the end of last year.  

Bryan Easson’s side are also aiming to extend their winning streak to seven matches with victory in Cardiff.  

Skeldon said that run has given the players a new-found confidence.  

The hooker said: "When you’re on a winning run you have that little bit more confidence and edge in your game, and I think as a squad it’s probably something we’ve never really experienced.  

“Heading into a Six Nations off the back of some wins, you go in with a different mindset in terms of you just want to better your last performance.  

“We are still trying to fix things, but when you lose a lot of games you have so much you feel you need to fix, whereas when you’re winning, you’re just adding little bits to it in order to get to our potential - which is what we’re hopefully going to do over the next five games.” 

Scotland Rugby News: Lana Skeldon in action for Scotland against Wales during last year's Women's Six NationsLana Skeldon in action for Scotland against Wales during last year's Women's Six Nations (Image: SNS)

This will be Skeldon’s 13th year of international rugby, and as one of the squad’s senior players, she admits she felt a responsibility to support others when things were not going well.

Prior to their current run, Scotland lost 12 matches on the bounce, including the first three of last year’s championship.  

Skeldon said: “I think it’s just reminding young players - or anyone in general - there will be dips and waves, and how you get through them is by sticking together as a team.” 

Scotland have half a dozen uncapped players in their Six Nations squad following some impressive performances during the expanded Celtic Challenge, which saw Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors compete this year.  

And Skeldon said those players – particularly the Edinburgh Rugby contingent – have brought further confidence to the group.  

READ MORE: Edinburgh Rugby's Alex Stewart shares Scotland ambition

“This year it’s been really good to see we’ve got so much depth in the squad,” she said.  

“Our first week of training was the best first training-session week of a camp I’ve ever seen. 

“We all believe in each other and I think it’s a blend of the youngsters coming through and the people that have been on that journey and experienced that slightly upwards trajectory of these wins. It makes training so much easier.” 

Historically Scotland have struggled to be competitive up front against the likes of England and France, whose players have been on full-time contracts for several years.  

Now Scotland’s players are benefitting from the same investment, Skeldon said there’s no reason they cannot aim to be the best in the tournament, particularly at the set-piece.  

She added: “In the past, we've always been proud of what we've done, but we never had the attitude of 'we're not just going to survive, we're going to be the best in the tournament' and I think that's a mindset change.  

Scotland Rugby News: Lana Skeldon has become a prolific try scorer for ScotlandLana Skeldon has become a prolific try scorer for Scotland (Image: SNS)

“There's absolutely no reason why we can't be as good as [England’s] pack.  

“We're in it together and we're going to push our standards to get up and beyond the likes of England." 

While she’s also happy to mentor the likes of fellow hooker Elis Martin, prop Anne Young and uncapped duo Alex Stewart and Merryn Gunderson, the Bristol Bears hooker still has her own personal ambitions.  


“I'm trying to push myself to be one of the best in the world,” she said.  


“That's my individual goal, but I want Elis to reach her full potential as well. If Elis gets to her full potential, that helps Scotland and it helps me as well. I'd do anything to help her."