Skye Camanachd’s Sarah Yoxon will win her tenth senior Scotland cap over Scotland’s shinty/camogie international double-header against a West Cork select side at Bandon on Friday night before facing Carbery Camogie at Clonakilty on Saturday afternoon.
Yoxon played in the first official international in 2004 and skippered the Scots in the last clash in 2019.
She said: “Having the two games this year is fantastic. It’s another opportunity to grow the women’s game, to get bigger and better, and of course to advance connections between the two countries.
“The whole squad also become role models for young girls which is important.”
The international also presents the opportunity for players from different clubs to play together which is something Sarah Yoxon is looking forward to.
She said: “It will be great to play again with my former Skye teammate Lorna MacRae.
“We’ve always linked-up well together. Uddingston’s Alison MacVicar is another.
“She’s appeared on the scoring lists almost every week this season and was terrific in the East v West representative match. She is super-fit and super-keen.”
A worthy captain for big match
Skye Camanachd’s Caitlin Maclean, with six caps already, will captain the Scots this year.
Sarah Yoxon added: “I’m so pleased for Caitlin. She is so humble and will say she doesn’t deserve it, but she definitely does.”
Maclean will help guide the debutants but knows assistance will also come from elsewhere.
She said: “There are a number of players who will be able to steer the newer ones in the right direction, but all the girls are experienced shinty players so hopefully we’ll adapt well.”
Badenoch skipper Megan Ralph is one of the new caps and she said: “I’m very excited for the international games and it’s an honour to represent your country.”
Badenoch teammate Rhona McIntyre said: “The international always brings an additional challenge which we all really enjoy.”
The Scots are led by co-managers James Gallacher and Laura Mackay with trainer Andrew Morris.
Plenty to play for
The outcome of this year’s Mowi Premiership title race may already be decided but don’t let anyone tell you there is nothing at stake when champions Kingussie play neighbours Newtonmore at the Dell.
Thomas Borthwick returns for the Kings and manager Iain Borthwick said: “I’m looking forward to this game on two counts: it’s against our old foes and it’s our last game and we are looking forward to the break after a long but successful season.
“That said, after a couple of weeks of not playing, we’ll all probably be missing it.
“Newtonmore may be without key players, but we certainly won’t take them lightly and you can just never be overly confident when these two rivals meet.”
Newtonmore co-manager Norman MacArthur added: “This is only out second game in two months which is far from ideal. Kenny Ross, Conor Jones and Michael Russell return from our last game but Arron MacBean and Duncan MacPherson are on holiday.
“I saw Kingussie against Skye last week when Ruaridh Anderson was very impressive, so we need to have a plan for him.”
Caberfeidh have already equalled their best-ever Mowi Premiership points tally ahead of their meeting with Kinlochshiel at Castle Leod.
Caberfeidh manager Garry Reid said: “We are a few players short as Jamie MacKintosh is on holiday, Gavin McLauchlan is working, and Ben MacDonald and Scott Macphail are not available.
“We had 15 at training this week though and will give some younger players a chance.”
Kinlochshiel boss Willie MacRae said: “Archie MacRae came off early against Kyles with a thumb injury and he won’t make it whilst we are also without David Falconer. Arran Jack returns and I’ll also call up Rory Slaughter.
Kyles Athletic and Oban Camanachd have proved to be the top two teams in the south over recent seasons and they meet at Tighnabruaich.
Kyles currently sit second in shinty’s top-flight whilst Oban Camanachd have excelled in the cup competitions.