Alison McGrandles is a former Scotland Women’s Rugby Union Internationalist, playing in the first-ever women’s international rugby match against Ireland at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh in 1993.
A pioneer of women’s rugby, Ali started playing mini rugby in the early 80s joining the U11 boy’s team at Stirling County Rugby Football Club.
Even from an early age, she was recognised as a phenomenal tackler. When Glasgow Accies asked clubs in 1983 to send their hardest tackler to represent their club at the Glasgow Accies annual dinner hosted by Scotland Internationalist Andy Irvine, Stirling County were only too happy to send Ali.
Ali played alongside the likes of Kenny Logan, Gareth Flockhart and Mark McKenzie up until midi rugby then having played age-grade hockey, returned to rugby whilst at university and went on to notch up some 50 International Caps for Scotland including playing in 1994, 1998 and 2002 Rugby World Cups and 3 European Championships in between.
Ali was part of Scotland Women’s Rugby most successful home nations competition to date in 1998, including their only Grand Slam:
Ireland 0 Scotland 15
Scotland 19 France 3
Wales 12 Scotland 22
Scotland 8 England 5
Now an Assistant Headteacher, she carries on her love of sport and rugby by coaching and developing players at school.
Cat Cripps, Committee Member and the Chieftains Gathering Convenor said: “Every year the committee looks at the talents and achievements of the sons and daughters of Stirling and how they have excelled in their field.
“Ali has a fantastic pedigree in her sport and we are delighted to announce she will be the 2022 Stirling Highland Games Chieftain.”
“She will be a brilliant host on the day which will be extra special this year as we all look forward to returning to the live event.”