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Scotland go with Parker as head coach

Scotland have announced that Gary Parker has been chosen as Jamie Dempsey's replacement as the new coach of the national women's rugby team.

The former Scotland A player and Gala coach will take charge of his first test match in February against France though he will also oversee a training fixture in Belfast against an Irish selection on December 20th.

He said: "I've been keen to get into a challenging coaching role since leaving Gala. Being involved with Scotland Women in a busy season will certainly test me as a coach in an environment that's entirely new.

Scotland have also named a 33-player squad with another 18 players allocated to Scotland A. Following a November camp, a Scotland squad will be selected to play Ireland at the end of they year and then a further selection will be made, drawing from both squads, building towards the 2010 6 Nations and a series of Scotland A fixtures in the new year.

Scotland will be at the Womens Rugby World Cup in 2010 after qualifying via the FIRA European Trophy Competition over the summer. They had failed to qualify automatically through the 6 Nations route after they finished fifth just ahead of Italy who failed to qualify and will not be at the London World Cup.

Outgoing Scotland Women head coach, Jamie Dempsey, worked as a Scottish Rugby development officer for six years prior to taking up the full-time post and is credited with making a significant contribution to the squad's progress over the last season.

Scottish Rugby's head of community rugby, Colin Thomson, said: "Due to increased work and coaching commitments Jamie Dempsey has decided to step down from his position as head coach to the national women's team.

"Scottish Rugby thanks Jamie for his contribution to that team in ensuring qualification for next year's IRB Women's World Cup in England."

For the full Scotland squad and upcoming fixtures see here.