A SCOTLAND rugby internationalist from East Lothian has returned to the national squad after three years in New Zealand.

Annabel Sergeant came off the bench against Italy earlier this month and hopes to feature against Canada on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old was capped 17 times for Scotland before work took her to the other side of the world and put her dreams of pulling on the dark blue shirt on hold.

But she returned home this summer and quickly found herself back again with the national side.

She said: “It is pretty amazing, actually. I did not really expect to be back in the team.

“I was away in New Zealand for three years and to be back is really exciting.

“There have definitely been some improvements in the skill level of the team. All the other teams are getting better but it is really cool to see the youth coming through and a lot of the girls are starting out younger.”

Sergeant, who grew up in North Berwick, moved to New Zealand through her work but continued playing rugby while there.

The chance to return to Scotland permanently came about in the summer and it was not long before she was offered the chance to work with head coach Shade Munro and the national side.

The ex-North Berwick High School pupil, who plays on the wing, said: “A few people had mentioned that I was back and I was asked to come along and see how we got on.

“It just spiralled from there and I was going to training to start with and different things.”

Scotland travelled to Calvisano, near Brescia, earlier this month for the first of the Autumn Tests.

Italy would emerge victorious 38-0, but Sergeant saw reasons to be positive.

Attention now turns to Scotland hosting Canada at Scotstoun, Glasgow.

The Heriot’s player, who works in data analytics, said: “They are going to be a hard competition.

“They are fourth in the world, I think, and it will be a tough game but it will be exciting as well.

“It will be exciting to be at home and play with a home crowd and I will get family and friends along as well.

“It will be really nice.”