Scotland rugby captain Rachel Malcolm says the squad has made a conscious effort to keep in contact with each other during the coronavirus pandemic.
The national side only managed to play two matches in this year’s Six Nations tournament before it was halted as the virus continued its spread across the globe.
And one of those matches – against England – was played behind closed doors at Murrayfield due to Storm Ciara.
Malcolm said: “The team was probably in the strongest place that we’ve been in terms of togetherness and on the pitch things were starting to gel, so it was a really unfortunate time in terms of not getting a huge amount of rugby after that.
“It’s really tough because you know that’s your social group and that’s a big part of playing team sports is those relationships that you build, so to have that quite suddenly stopped is really difficult.
“I think we’re quite lucky in the age we live in that we can still be in contact by Zoom or FaceTime or whatever it is and we just as a squad have been putting quite a conscious effort into still doing that.”
One of Malcolm’s teammates, Jade Konkel, is a personal trainer away from the rugby pitch and she has been running weekly sessions for the whole squad.
“They’ve been really well attended and it’s been a really good way to keep the girls interacting and keep pushing forward with our goals as well. It’s really good to check in with everyone and make sure that everyone’s OK,” said Malcolm.
“It’s so important for the girls’ wellbeing and mental health to make the most of getting out in the fresh air and not getting too distracted by all that’s going on.”Rachel Malcolm, Scotland Rugby Captain
“It’s so important for the girls’ wellbeing and mental health to make the most of getting out in the fresh air and not getting too distracted by all that’s going on,” she added.
One member of the squad tested positive for the virus on the day before the game against France on March 7, which was subsequently postponed.
Malcolm says it was surprising at the time as coronavirus wasn’t as widespread as it is now.
“We were supported by Dr Andrew Murray, probably one of the most well-renowned doctors in sport, so we knew we were being supported the best we could be and that gave us a huge amount of confidence.
“We just followed guidelines, followed the support from the government and various sporting bodies.
“So we were surprised and we were looking out for the welfare of our player but she was well throughout and that was the main thing and that’s all we could take from it,” she added.