A RISING Wee County rugby star is hoping to be fit for World Cup qualifiers following a year of ups and downs.

Fresh from graduating Stirling University, Alva's Megan Kennedy is currently on a recovery journey and is attending online rehab sessions while training with the Scottish squad via Zoom in the back yard.

While a knee injury reared its ugly head again for the 24-year-old, there have been plenty of positive developments for the player, such as an invitation to the female squad at the famous Barbarians.

The invitational team, nicknamed the Baa-Baas, is a touring side, often playing the national teams visiting Britain.

An unfortunate injury, which saw Megan stretchered off the pitch against Wales during the autumn internationals, means she has not had the chance to don the black and white hoops, but the current pause in the game is giving her the chance to recover.

Dates for the Word Cup qualifiers are currently up in the air due to the ongoing pandemic, but the Advertiser understands Megan is determined to recover from injury and secure a place on the squad.

And while she has been working hard on the pitch, Megan did not neglect studies either.

Indeed, the tighthead prop just graduated from the University of Stirling with a Masters of Science in Psychology of Sport.

Graduation ceremonies have been disrupted by the pandemic, but that did not stop the family from celebrating the achievement, holding a small event in the garden where Megan is pictured with her degree.

The masters came two years after she bagged a bachelor's degree in journalism combined with sports studies

Proud mum Fiona orchestrated the graduation day and said: "We were just so chuffed that she actually experienced a graduation ceremony.

"It was very emotional still out the back [in the garden], she was taken so aback."

Megan comes from a passionate rugby family with dad Gregor a former player himself and brother Reyner a team-mate a Stirling County RFC.