Megan Kennedy’s rugby career was almost over before it had barely begun. Now she is not only back playing but, to her own surprise, has swiftly cemented a place in the Scotland team, and wins her fourth cap today against Ireland.
Still only 21, the Stirling County tighthead prop was sidelined for two years after twice rupturing a cruciate ligament in her knee. Her initial hope was simply to return to playing at any level, but her determination has taken her much further than that, and if Scotland win this afternoon’s Six Nations Championship match at Donnybrook, her tenacity in the loose and set-piece alike is sure to be a vital ingredient.
“It came as quite a shock actually,” Kennedy said of her rapid rise. “I had four knee operations and it’s taken a while to get back. I was just trying to get my foot in the door and see what could happen, so to have been starting has been great.
“I’m aware of the risks that come after so many injuries, but no one said to stop and I decided to go again. I get my knee heavily strapped for games, but it feels 100 per cent.”
A sports journalism student at Stirling University, Kennedy won her first cap in last month’s one-point defeat in Wales. Scotland lost by a far wider margin in their subsequent two games, at home to France and England, but the performances were better against stronger opposition, and the front-row forward believes the team is steadily learning how to put a complete performance together.
“We never give up anyway,” she said. “We know what we can bring to the table and since the Wales game we have shown we can compete with some of the best teams in the world. We plan to get more physical.”