SCOTLAND star Liz Musgrove is one of 28 women to have secured a professional contract in “a landmark moment”.

Scottish Rugby announced the contracts as part of its continued investment in the women’s game.

The contracts run through to November and focus on the skills and physical development of each individual player.

Bryan Easson, Scotland Women head coach and technical lead, said: “Firstly, I’m delighted for the 28 players who have accepted professional contracts.

“The women’s game and calendar is continuously evolving and growing, and we now have an annual programme that we can plan and prepare for properly whilst also developing the players as individuals at their existing clubs.

“The ability for players to focus on rugby each week, while having sufficient enough time for recovery and analysis, is a real positive for us and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve going forward.”

Musgrove, who turned 26 on Christmas Day, spent time playing the sport in Hong Kong before returning and joining the Darlington Mowden Park Sharks.

She won her first cap for Scotland during the Women’s Six Nations Championships in 2018 and has gone on to represent her country on a further 10 occasions.

The former judo and athletics star was also part of the Scotland team who took part in the Rugby World Cup for the first time in more than a decade last year.

Musgrove, who grew up just outside of North Berwick, has also represented Scotland’s sevens team.

Jim Mallinder, Scottish Rugby’s director of high performance, said: “This is a landmark moment for the women’s performance programme and these contracts are a significant first step in a long-term journey towards professionalising the women’s game.

“This will provide a crucial boost ahead of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations championship and the launch of the new global women’s competition, WXV, as we aim to ensure we can compete and challenge the top teams on the world stage.

“The next step will look at how we can create a sustainable and competitive playing environment in Scotland, while building our high-performance pathways to support our future internationalists and ensure new talent is identified and developed.”