Jade Konkel set to miss Six Nations as she trains to be a firefighter

Scotland look set to be without key player Jade Konkel for the upcoming Women’s Six Nations rugby tournament after she stepped back from the sport to begin her training with the London Fire Brigade.

Jade Konkel is taking a break from rugby. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

In 2016 Konkel, the 27-year-old No 8 originally from the Black Isle, became the first ever female professional rugby player in the country.

Since then, the former Hillhead/Jordanhill player has starred in French club rugby and for Harlequins in England and has amassed 44 Scotland caps.

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On Monday she announced that, “I’ll be taking some time away from rugby”, which means she is set to miss the Six Nations which takes place next month.

It is unclear currently how long she will be away from the sport, but there must also be a big question mark over her involvement in the World Cup qualifiers - which are set to take place in the coming months against Ireland, Italy and Spain.

The World Cup itself is due to start in mid-September in New Zealand.

“I’m extremely excited to say that I’ll be starting my firefighter training with the London Fire Brigade,” Konkel said on social media.

“I’m really looking forward to an exciting future ahead, but it does mean that I’ll be taking some time away from rugby - though not from cheering on my mates from the sidelines.

“I’m very fortunate to have something [rugby] that makes saying ‘see you soon’ so hard. I’ve made some difficult decisions over the last few months, however, and this is an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

“I’m not hanging the boots up yet. I’ll be seeing you on the other side.”

Scotland’s Six Nations campaign is due to start away to England on April 3 and, in a two pool-style event, they then host Italy on April 17.

And head coach Bryan Easson will now be looking to other back-row players to step-up to the mark to fill the void left by Konkel.

A Scottish Rugby statement said: “We wish Jade all the best with her London Fire Brigade training and we look forward to her return to rugby.”

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