Scotland coach Bryan Easson has decided to make no changes to his team to face Wales in tomorrow’s second round of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, even though they lost 58-7 to England in last week’s opening match of the Championship.

Part of the reason for that vote of confidence is the continuing unavailability of three players who would normally be starters – forwards Jade Konkel-Roberts, Sarah Bonar and Emma Wassell, all of whom have been sidelined by injury.

But Easson is also convinced that his players – both the starting 15 and the eight replacements – showed enough promise in that defeat in Newcastle to merit re-selection for the home game against the Welsh.

“I genuinely felt that the young group that we had showed some green shoots of development,” he said yesterday after announcing his squad for the match at Edinburgh’s DAM Health Stadium. “And the players that put their hands up – not only the starters but the energy that bench brought as well – made it quite an easy decision for us, to be honest.

“I think from an attack point of view we fired some good shots [against England]. However, we can be a little more clinical when we get opportunities. From a defensive point of view we had some really good sets and England did have to work for everything that they got.

“We did put them under pressure, especially that first 20 and last 10. We’ve reviewed quite closely; we’ve taken a lot of the positives from that, and we put it into this weekend.”

Scotland lost narrowly twice to Wales last year, in the Six Nations in Cardiff and then in the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. But they beat them 27-20 at Scotstoun in the 2021 Championship play-off to avoid the Wooden Spoon, and, with this game also being on home ground, Easson is hopeful of ending a losing run in all competitions that has now stretched to 10 games.

“We have worked on the set-piece this week. Wales will have seen the game last week and they’ll target that a little bit,” he continued. But we’ve not really concentrated too much on Wales this week. We’re looking at ourselves. We’ve played them enough. We know what to expect, and it’s always a bit of a spicy encounter.

“In 2021 we beat them here, that’s the last time we’ve played them at home. Last year in Cardiff then in New Zealand at the World Cup, both came down to last-minute plays.

“We know each other well. We know how to beat them.”

Konkel-Roberts, who was the first Scotswoman to go professional in 2016 and remains a key leadership figure for the team, is recovering well from injury and could return to action in the round-three match against France in two weeks’ time. However, her fellow-forwards Bonar and Wassell, Scotland’s long-standing first-choice partnership in the second row, might not be back from their respective injuries before the end of the tournament.

“Jade is quite close,” Easson said. “But if we get Emma and Sarah for anything at all, we’ll be lucky.”

Scotland travel to France on Sunday, 16 April for that round-three match, which follows a fallow weekend. They will then conclude their campaign with two consecutive home matches, both at the DAM Health, against Italy on Saturday 22 and then against Ireland seven days later.

Wales, who began their campaign with a convincing 31-5 victory at home to Ireland, have made one change to their starting 15. With second-row forward Gwen Crabb having been ruled out of the rest of the tournament because of injury, Georgia Evans moves up from the back row to lock and powerful ball-carrier Sioned Harries is promoted from the bench. Bethan Lewis switches from No.8 to blindside to accommodate Harries.

Head coach Ioan Cunningham has made three alterations to his bench. Natalia John takes Harries’ place, Cara Hope is replacement prop instead of Caryl Thomas, and Carys Phillips is preferred as back-up hooker to Kat Evans.

Scotland (at the DAM Health Stadium, tomorrow 5.30pm): C Rollie; C Grant, E Orr, M Smith, F McGhie; H Nelson, C Mattinson; L Bartlett, L Skeldon, C Belisle, L O’Donnell, L McMillan, R Malcolm (captain), R McLachlan, E Gallagher. Substitutes: J Rettie, A Young, E Clarke, E Donaldson, E Sinclair, M McDonald, B Blacklock, E Musgrove.

Wales: C Keight; L Neumann, H Jones (captain), K Lake, C Williams-Morris; E Snowsill, K Bevan; G Pyrs, K Jones, S Tuipulotu, A Fleming, G Evans, B Lewis, A Callender, S Harries. Substitutes: C Phillips, C Hope, C Hale, N John, K Williams, F Lewis, L George, H Bluck.

Referee: Maggie Cogger-Orr (New Zealand).