Scotland have doubled the number of its contracted women's players, awarding eight new deals.
Jade Konkel, Chloe Rollie and Lisa Thomson, who played together at Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois (LMRCV) last season are all recontracted while Sarah Bonar, Megan Kennedy, Lisa Martin, Helen Nelson and Lana Skeldon have also signed what Scotland are calling '2021' contracts - highlighting the aim of securing qualification for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021.
Rollie, who scored three tries in this year’s Women’s Six Nations, continues her playing career at LMRCV and is joined in Lille by Scotland captain, Lisa Martin.
Helen Nelson, who scored in the historic away win over Ireland, will also play in the French Top 8 league for Montpellier.
Jade Konkel, who became the first contracted Scottish female rugby player in 2016, joins Harlequins – playing in English top flight, Tyrrell’s Premier 15s.
Centre Lisa Thomson will also return to the UK following a year in France, playing for DMP Sharks, and loose forward Sarah Bonar continues with her club, Loughborough Lightning.
Front-row forwards Lana Skeldon and Megan Kennedy, who won her first five caps in this year’s Women’s Six Nations championship, will play in Scotland.
Both continue to play for their current Tennent’s Women’s Premier League clubs, Watsonians and Stirling County, respectively.
As home-based players, Kennedy and Skeldon will continue to receive support from the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy alongside Thomson who will be studying in Scotland while playing for DMP Sharks.
Megan Kennedy said: “It’s a dream come true. The opportunity to focus on rugby while still developing my education is enormous for me.
“I’m very excited for the season ahead there are a lot of new and exciting challenges to look forward to.
“After a season of international rugby, I feel I have a better understanding of how robust I need to be to handle such intense competition and I believe my training will prepare me for that. I’ll continue to train hard both on and off the pitch and I believe my rugby will continue to develop.”
Sarah Law, one of last year’s contracted players, will continue to receive support from the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy as she recovers from injury.
All 2021 contracts will be reviewed on an annual basis.
2021 contracted players
Sarah Bonar (Loughborough Lightning) – 11 caps
Megan Kennedy (Stirling County) – 5 caps
Jade Konkel (Harlequins) – 32 caps
Lisa Martin (LMRCV) – 41 caps
Helen Nelson (Montpellier) – 14 caps
Chloe Rollie (LMRCV) – 22 caps
Lana Skeldon (Watsonians) – 26 caps
Lisa Thomson (DMP Sharks) – 16 caps