A CLACKS rugby internationalist is hanging up her boots following an unfortunate spell of injuries.

Alva's Megan Kennedy last Tuesday announced she has made the tough decision to retire from the sport for medical reasons.

The 25-year-old tighthead prop made her debut for Scotland against Wales during the 2018 Six Nations championship and has since earned 18 caps.

Her final appearance for Scotland was also against Wales at the 2021 Six Nations and she is bowing out in style, having scored in the 28th minute of the game to help secure a 27-20 win and fifth place for the team.

However, the rest of the season has been hampered by lengthy injury spells.

The Advertiser reported last year how she was on a rehab journey with her knee and it is understood she also sustained a shoulder injury this year.

Megan said: "It's difficult to name everyone who has played a part in my rugby journey because so many people have helped me along the way from when I started playing rugby at the age of 14.

"I'd like to thank my club and international coaches for always believing in me and my family and friends for their support over the years.

"I wouldn't be half the person I am just now without their continuous support.

"I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the medical staff and physiotherapists who hugely supported me through the tough times, particularly as I've had a number of problems with injuries recently.

"Every time you wear the thistle, it's a special moment. Not many people get the chance to line-up next to their best friends and sing the national anthem."

Megan began playing rugby at the age of 14 and is a product of Alva Academy and her club Stirling County.

Coming from a sporting and rugby dynasty, she has always been surrounded by the game.

Her mother Fiona previously played hockey and volleyball at a national level.

Father Gregor is a former Stirling County player and brother Reyner is currently following in his footsteps.

Megan, who last year graduated from the University of Stirling with a Masters of Science in Psychology of Sport, also represented Scotland at U20 level and in 2018 she was named as one of the 2021 Scottish Rugby contracted players.

She said: "Rugby is a game for everyone and I'd encourage those who are maybe scared or those who are looking to break down barriers to give it a try.

"I'm so glad that I decided to pick up a rugby ball when I was younger and I hope that myself and the squad have helped to inspire young girls to get involved and be who they want to be."

Scotland head coach Bryan Easson said it has been a "privilege" to work with Megan.

He added: "She will be hugely missed by the players and management and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours."