A SCOTLAND star has finally stepped back onto the rugby pitch after nearly 18 months on the sidelines.

Harvey Elms had been a key part of the Scotland 7s side that played in various competitions across the globe.

However, his participation in the sport was halted by the coronavirus pandemic with the sevens circuit put on hold in March last year after the team returned from Vancouver.

It was more than a year since Elms last played a competitive match before he returned to XVs action with Watsonians against Ayrshire Bulls in the Super6 series at the beginning of the month.

A 26-21 win gave Elms and team-mates the perfect start to the campaign but the former Currie man laughed that it took its toll.

The full-back said: “I was a bit sore afterwards!

“It was a bit of a weird one, it must have been 25C in Ayr and it almost felt like I was away somewhere with the sevens boys! My body was a bit sore after that. You can train as much as you want but as soon as you are in a game it is a lot different.”

He is joined in the capital by a number of stars with East Lothian connections.

Ruaridh Smith is no stranger to Elms having played alongside him at Currie and in North Berwick, while Roan Frostwick and Scott King grew up in East Lothian, and head coach Fergus Pringle was previously the county’s rugby development officer.

Elms, of North Berwick, was enjoying being back involved after a difficult year.

With the Scotland 7s programme on hold, Elms, who attended the town’s secondary school, spent much of the last year training with Glasgow Warriors. However, he never made the side and was instead training to keep fit without playing.

The 26-year-old said: “It is a bit of a weird one. At the start, we were in full lockdown and nothing was moving at all. When I went into Glasgow for the year, a lot of that was being a year of training. That was a tough one.

“It was good to be in an environment like that and training when other people were not doing anything but at the same time it was quite frustrating.

“You were training four times a week and not involved at the weekend.

“As weeks went on it became quite a tough year.”

Now, he is back involved with Watsonians and enjoying the Super6 series, which also features Southern Knights, Ayrshire Bulls, Heriot’s Rugby, Stirling County and Boroughmuir Bears.

Elms and team-mates face Southern Knights in a top-of-the-table clash today (Friday) in a match screened on the BBC Sport Scotland website.

Watsonians sit second in the table behind their opponents, who have won three and drawn one of their opening four games.

Speaking to Courier Sport, he said: “I have really enjoyed my time with Watsonians so far.

“It is good to get back into it and the normality and getting playing games and stuff. It has been fun.

“It is going well and we still feel like we are still to fire on all cylinders.”