Scotland head coach Bryan Easson has named seven uncapped players in his squad of 36 for the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, and added attack specialist Chris Laidlaw to his staff for the tournament.

Scotland are on a run of nine games without a victory, having last won in the Rugby World Cup qualifier against Colombia at the start of 2022, and they have the toughest possible start to this year’s Championship when they play World Cup runners-up England at Kingston Park a week on Saturday.

But, while he declined to make predictions about when precisely his team would return to winning ways, Easson said he was hopeful of an upturn in fortunes now that most of the squad have been given professional contracts.

“We are entering a fresh, exciting period for Scotland Women, with professional contracts in place, new faces to the squad and management team and a new Rugby World Cup cycle beginning,” he said.

“We have a good mix of experienced and younger players, so it will be exciting to see what the group are capable of over the coming weeks.”

Harlequins forwards Jade Konkel-Roberts and Sarah Bonar will miss the start of the tournament because of injury, but Konkel-Roberts could be back for the round two game at home to Wales, while Bonar is targeting a comeback for rounds four and five.

Rachel Malcolm has again been named captain, with Helen Nelson as her deputy. The seven uncapped players are Beth Blacklock, Rhea Clarke, Fiona Cooper, Erinn Foley, Fran McGhie, Holly McIntyre and Emma Turner.

Meanwhile, Laidlaw has joined the set-up after being the Thistles’ assistant coach in the recent Celtic Challenge competition. He will work under Easson with his fellow-assistants Martin Haag and Tyrone Holmes.

Scotland squad for TikTok Women’s Six Nations:

Forwards: Leah Bartlett, Christine Belisle (both Loughborough Lightning), Sarah Bonar (Harlequins), Elliann Clarke (Edinburgh Uni), Lisa Cockburn (Uni of Worcester Warriors), Fiona Cooper (Wasps), Eva Donaldson (Edinburgh Uni), Erinn Foley (Hillhead Jordanhill), Evie Gallagher (Uni of Worcester Warriors), Jade Konkel-Roberts (Harlequins), Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning, captain), Elis Martin (DMP Sharks), Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks), Louise McMillan (Saracens), Panashe Muzambe (Exeter Chiefs), Lyndsay O’Donnell (Bristol Bears), Lana Skeldon (Uni of Worcester Warriors), Emma Turner (Corstorphine Cougars), Jodie Rettie (Saracens), Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning), Anne Young (Sale Sharks).

Backs: Beth Blacklock (Harlequins), Rhea Clarke (Edinburgh Uni), Coreen Grant (Saracens), Sarah Law (Sale Sharks), Caity Mattinson (Uni of Worcester Warriors), Mairi McDonald (Exeter Chiefs), Francesca McGhie (Watsonians), Holly McIntyre (Edinburgh Uni), Liz Musgrove (Wasps), Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning, vice-captain), Emma Orr (Heriot’s/Biggar), Chloe Rollie (Loughborough Lightning), Eilidh Sinclair (Exeter Chiefs), Meryl Smith (Edinburgh Uni), Evie Wills (Hillhead Jordanhill).