A TWO-YEAR absence from the Scotland team could come to an end this weekend for Liz Musgrove.

The Women’s Six Nations Championship gets underway tomorrow (Saturday), with the Scotland squad getting ready to face England in Doncaster.

Musgrove has not represented her country since 2019 having moved to Hong Kong, where she played rugby and coached, and also through a problematic hip injury.

Now, back in Scotland and with injuries behind her, she is hoping to once again pull on the blue shirt and line-up alongside fellow East Lothian star Megan Gaffney.

Musgrove, who has been named on the bench, tried to sum up what it meant to play for her country.

She said: “I think it is hard to put into words.

“It is a feeling, it’s an accumulation of a lot of hard work.

“Not just from yourself but family, friends, coaches and team-mates.

“It is a special feeling and it makes you feel proud.”

The training camp for the opening fixture is now underway, with Musgrove part of the 31-women squad.

Last year, the coronavirus – and poor weather – wreaked havoc with the plans for the Women’s Six Nations.

Scotland narrowly lost to Ireland in the opening round of fixtures in February before their scheduled clash with England at Scotstoun in Glasgow fell victim to the weather.

It was played 24 hours later at a snowy Murrayfield Stadium.

Scotland’s clashes with Italy, France and Wales were then postponed, with only the match with France getting played – some seven months later.

The format for this year’s tournament has been altered with the six countries split into two groups.

England host Scotland at Castle Park before Scotland welcome Italy a fortnight later to Scotstoun.

The countries will then face the country that finished in the same position in the other group.

Musgrove, who previously attended North Berwick High School, said: “I’m so excited for the tournament to be happening.

“I think just being involved with a squad is really exciting.

“There is a real buzz about the tournament and we are looking forward to some games.”

The Edinburgh Napier University student, who is doing a masters in clinical exercise science, stressed the squad recognised they were in “such a fortunate position” to be playing the sport given the ongoing coronavirus restrictions across the country.

She praised the efforts of those behind the scenes to ensure the tournament took place.

It was not on the rugby pitch that Musgrove initially fell in love with sport though.

Instead, she was a keen judoka, competing all over the UK prior to a wrist injury.

The 24-year-old then turned her attention to athletics before finally gaining success on the rugby field.

She said the skills learned in the two sports had proven useful in her adapting to rugby, although she had to “learn how to work in a team”.

Musgrove is not the only member of the squad to have played other sports though.

Team-mate Gaffney represented Scottish Schools in under-17s rugby while Rachel Malcolm represented Scotland at hockey in under-17s, under-18s and under-21s and Rachel McLachlan is a former Scottish judo champion.

Musgrove, who grew up near North Berwick, felt those different backgrounds helped the squad.

She said: “I think in terms of people coming in with movement skills, or team skills or tactical skills or kicking or whatever, they played other sports and it has a time and place for rugby.”