Mags wins Scotland cap in Women's Six Nations

Her full international debut may have been short, but it was definitely sweet and left Mags Lowish with a taste for more.

Mags proudly wears the Scotland training kit EMN-180216-154859002
Mags proudly wears the Scotland training kit EMN-180216-154859002

Mags came on for Scotland as a 78th-minute replacement prop in the Women’s Six Nations clash with France, in Glasgow.

Selection for the squad was the reward for a strict, self-imposed rugby regime over the last year.

“I was so pleased; it was a bit of a relief really,” she said.

Mags lines up for the anthems before kick-off against France EMN-180216-154910002

“I had put a lot of work into improving my game and my all-round strength and conditioning, and it really paid off.”

Spare time comes at a premium for the 34-year-old who dedicates 26 hours a week to her sport – on top of running her dog day care business in Nottingham.

“It definitely doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else,” she added.

“But I’m quite lucky with having my own business and having very good staff who can take over while I’m away.”

Mags lines up for the anthems before kick-off against France EMN-180216-154910002

Mags, who qualifies to play for Scotland through the roots of her mum Anne, was a late developer in the game, having first tried rugby as a student at Nottingham University.

Having been a handy netballer and hockey captain while at Caistor Grammar School, she enjoyed the physicality of rugby and began playing for Leicestershire club side Coalville.

There her raw potential was spotted by the head coach of Premiership club side Lichfield.

“I was quite an average player at the low level game, but the head coach at Lichfield asked me to come across,” she explained.

“Within half-a-season I was playing in the Premiership so it was having really good coaches which made the difference for me.

“It made me realise I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing up until then!”

Mags spent 10 seasons with an improving Lichfield side who worked their way up from the lower reaches to a runners-up finish in their final campaign.

She was then forced to switch to Loughborough Lightning when the RFU launched a new Premiership in which the Staffordshire-based club did not win a place.

The international breakthrough came last summer following an Exiles trial - for Scotland-qualified players plying their trade south of the border.

Mags earned an invite to an autumn national training camp from Scotland head coach Shade Munro, and from there played in two uncapped internationals against Spain and Wales.

The treasured first cap finally arrived in a 26-3 defeat against the French.

“It was really exciting because it was a home match and the crowd support was huge,” she added. “There were a lot of people watching on TV as well so it was a great occasion and great to be involved in.

“The team played so well and the score didn’t reflect the match. To be able to compete with the team that is third in the world is a real sign of where this team is going and their intent.”

The occasion was also an emotional one for mum Anne, from Barnetby, whose late father was a dyed-in-the-wool rugby fan.

“When she was signing the national anthem I was choked with emotion,” Anne said.

“My father was 100 per cent Scotland and his sport was rugby so I’d like to think he was watching.”