A CHANCE to represent Scotland at the Rugby World Cup has been described as “the pinnacle of a career” by rugby star Megan Gaffney.

The winger ran in two tries as Scotland sealed a 59-3 victory over Colombia in Dubai and with it the 12th and final spot at this year’s Rugby World Cup.

It is the first time in 12 years that Scotland have reached the global competition and Gaffney was looking forward to the tournament, which gets under way in New Zealand in October.

She said: “Reaching the Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of a career.

“It is obviously something Scotland have not been part of for over 10 years.

“To be part of the first team to get back there, I would be so proud.

“We are lucky to get to play a lot of rugby with the Six Nations every year but to go to a global competition and get the chance to play teams you never get the chance to play is great.

“Having been part of the squad for so long, there have been a lot of people pass through the squad who will not have had the opportunity to represent Scotland at a Rugby World Cup.

“A lot of what we have done is for them as well.

“We know when we get to New Zealand we will be representing everybody that has been part of the 12-year journey.”

Gaffney, of North Berwick, and Scotland have been drawn in a group with hosts New Zealand – who have won four out of the last five tournaments, including the 2017 competition in Ireland – as well as Australia and Wales.

Thirty-year-old Gaffney played the first 55 minutes against Colombia last Friday and was full of praise for the South American team, who have not even played a dozen full international games.

Scotland had overcome Ireland to reach the tournament in the Middle East, which was hampered by the Covid19 pandemic.

Originally, Scotland were due to join Samoa, Colombia and either Hong Kong or Kazakhstan at the qualification event.

But Samoa and Hong Kong both pulled out due to fears surrounding the coronavirus, which left Kazakhstan and Colombia facing each other and Scotland facing the winners of that match.

Colombia overcame Kazakhstan but proved no match for the Scots, who raced into the lead and never looked back.

Gaffney, who works for social inclusion charity School of Hard Knocks, was looking forward to an incredibly busy few months.

She said: “I think when I came off after 55 minutes the score was healthy enough that you could think ‘we’re going’ but you never want to say it until the final whistle.

“It was a relief the game had gone ahead and we had qualified.

“After the game, there was the excitement that we are getting the opportunity to go to the World Cup and just play.

“We have got this opportunity and to do it with our best mates – that’s pretty special.

“Not many people achieve their dreams with their best mates.

“I’m back in Loughborough for a week training and then back up to Scotland for a training camp and straight into the Six Nations.

“I think that is at the end of March and we will get through that and for a lot of us and the backs we go straight into 7s because we have got the Commonwealth Games as well at the end of July.

“We come out of that and into the World Cup.”