Think you have had a good week?
Well, it probably has not been as good as the one Scotland Women’s rugby star Lisa Thomson has had…
She returned from a long-term injury to help her country finish third at the Rugby Europe Grand Prix sevens event in Russia, turned 21 today [Friday] and on Saturday will make her debut for new club Darlington Mowden Park Sharks against Worcester Valkyries in the opening round of Tyrrells Premier 15s fixtures.
As well as that, it was announced this week that Scotland Women will host Canada Women this November as part of a celebration of women and girls’ rugby at Scotstoun Stadium.
They will play Italy away in November too and in Spain in January, giving the team their best preparations for a Six Nations campaign in a number of years.
Also, recently the Sharks centre was named as one of eight contracted female players by Scottish Rugby.
The new deals - known as ‘2021 contracts’ - are to provide players with financial support to facilitate training and playing with the aim of securing qualification for the Rugby World Cup in 2021.
Last season there were just four contracted players, Thomson being one of them and playing for Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois (LMRCV) in France.
She has returned from overseas and will be returning to her studies at Edinburgh University while playing for DMP.
“If you had told me when I was 18 that all of this would have happened by the time I was 21 I just would not have believed you,” Thomson said.
“My dream was always to play rugby for Scotland, but to now be doing that regularly and being a contracted player it is just amazing.
“The year in France was a brilliant one for me and one I will look back on in years to come and say ‘that really shaped me as a player and as a person.
“I was only 19 when I headed over there and it put me and the two other Scots [Chloe Rollie and Jade Konkel] out of our comfort zone. I learnt so much as a player and I think it has made me more assured in my rugby and more confident to speak up in team meetings and such like.
“Now I just want to keep things going on an upward curve with Darlington and Scotland and really try and kick on and make the most of opportunities in front of me.”
Thomson, from the same Hawick town as Stuart Hogg, first took up rugby because all of her friends were playing and she “liked the contact aspect of the sport”.
She played for Jedburgh minis when she was six and then played for Langholm for four years at under-15 level before a season with Murrayfield Wanderers at under-18. She then played for Edinburgh University before her season in France.
She made her Scotland debut in the Six Nations back in 2016 when, aged just 18, the centre who plays 10 for DMP this weekend started against the might of England.
my friends and family were talking about it and getting excited which was great, but really I just wanted to get out there on the pitch and play.
Looking back she said: “I never really thought I would start the opening match in the Six Nations back in 2016 at just 18.
“When my name was read out a few days before the England match it was a great feeling, but after it sunk it I started to feel quite nervous.
“All of my friends and family were talking about it and getting excited which was great, but really I just wanted to get out there on the pitch and play.
“Singing the national anthem was really good and then I just wanted to get my hands on the ball quickly. I managed to do that and make a tackle in defence and from there I felt I felt a bit calmer and just concentrated on the rugby.”
Two and a half years on and Lisa is a calm customer who is one of a group of young Scottish female talent with their eyes on mirroring what the football team have done and qualify for a World Cup.
“That is the dream come 2021,” she said. “We have come a long way, but we have a lot of hard work to go and it is really exciting to be part of this.”
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