A RISING Wee County rugby star is going into next season with high hopes after making her international debut with Scotland and earning a degree this year.

Alva's Megan Kennedy was capped for Scotland for the first time when she started against Wales in the Six Nations opener back in February.

For the 21-year-old tighthead it was an unforgettable moment, one made even more special by the fact that she was not even sure she could ever play again following knee injuries that forced her off the pitch for two years.

However, she defied the odds and her relatively young age, donning the navy blue jersey in the starting line up at all five games during the tournament.

Megan told the Advertiser: "I didn't play any rugby at all until the start of the season just past – I wasn't even sure I was ever going to get back so finally getting that first cap was pretty major for me and that game against Wales was very-very special."

Megan is a member of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy where she received a lot of help during her recovery while the support of family and friends proved invaluable too.

Not being able to do what she loves proved difficult during that time, but Megan said: "I just kept positive and kept believing that I would do it and I finally did."

And while Megan was proving her mettle on the pitch, she kept her mind sharp too as she has just finished her final year undergraduate studies at the University of Stirling where her degree combined journalism with sport studies.

She is now looking forward to her results and receiving her degree at the end of the month.

"It was a lot to juggle", said the Wee County woman. "You've got to get your time management under control, but it is definitely doable."

On her involvement with Six Nations Megan added: "Being part of a team that's so motivated and inspired to do well week in, week out is pretty cool.

"It definitely drove me to do better and try my hardest and give everything I had every week – it was amazing to be a part of that sort of team."

As particular highlights, she singled out the opener against Wales since it was her first cap as well as the 15-12 victory over Ireland.

Megan, whose family are all involved in sport, is now getting ready for the season ahead, playing with Stirling County RFC where she started off at the age of 14, and hopes she can once again prove she has a place in the starting XV.

The 2019 Six Nations Championship will start in February once again, meanwhile Megan will focus on straightening out a few little knocks and on keeping fit.

She said: "I'll try my best, I'm hoping to be [at the Six Nations next year], but I've got to keep working hard."