A RISING rugby star who made her debut in last year’s Six Nations has had a statue unveiled to celebrate her as a trailblazer in the centre of Edinburgh.

The statues, made from 100 per cent recycled plastics, tell the stories of three Scottish rugby stars.

Among them are current stars Lisa Thomson and Francesca McGhie, who are inspiring young girls to follow in the footsteps.

A third statue, recognising Scottish rugby legend Donna Kennedy, was also unveiled on the city’s Castle Street.

McGhie, of Musselburgh, told Courier Sport: “To have a statue of myself alongside Donna, who is such an inspiration and Lisa, who I have looked up to prior to coming into the Scotland Women's team is so special.

“I really hope that for everyone who sees them, these statues can act as a symbol of inspiration and encourage them to take up the sport or start following our journey."

Francesca McGhie and Scotland made it two wins out of two at WXV 2 in South Africa. Image: Scottish Rugby/SNS

Francesca McGhie and Scotland made it two wins out of two at WXV 2 in South Africa. Image: Scottish Rugby/SNS

The statues, which were created by state-of-the-art 3D printing technology using 100 per cent recycled plastics intercepted from industrial waste destined for marine environments or landfill, will be moved to the Hive Stadium, where they will be on display ahead of the two home fixtures against France (Saturday March 30) and England (April 13).

The statues were unveiled as a OnePoll study revealed the influence of female sports stars – with 83 per cent of girls believing that they are inspirational role models, whilst half have been motivated to take up sport after watching the success of female athletes.

Former Loretto School pupil McGhie, who misses Saturday's opening game through injury, made her Scotland debut in the opening round of fixtures against England at last year's Six Nations.

She then scored her first try for her country against Ireland later in the competition.

The 20-year-old winger, who plays her club rugby for Leicester Tigers, has gone on to be capped on nine occasions and scored 15 points for Scotland.

Catherine O’Kelly, managing director of British Gas Energy, said: “We’re proud to help energise the growth of Scotland Women’s Team with our front of shirt and stadium partnership, while raising the profile of the side to inspire the next generation of players and fans.

“It’s been fantastic to watch their progress since the start of our partnership last summer and we’re delighted to honour three trailblazers in the run up to the Women's Six Nations.

“We wish Scotland Women all the best for the upcoming tournament.”