Scotland Women: Rachel Corsie back for New Zealand friendlies

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr and captain Rachel Corsie
Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr (left) and captain Rachel Corsie

Scotland captain Rachel Corsie will return from injury for the two friendly matches against New Zealand in March.

The 28-year-old defender is without a club after ending a two-season stint with Seattle Reign.

Uncapped Glasgow City striker Abbi Grant is included and there is a recall for Hibernian midfielder Lucy Graham.

Defender Rachael Small and forward Lana Clelland are sidelined for the matches, which will be played in La Manga, Spain.

"It's been a tough couple of months of hard work and I'm looking forward to getting back with the team," Corsie told BBC Scotland.

Glasgow City striker Abbi Grant celebrates scoring a hat-trick against Biik-Kazygurt in the Champions League
Glasgow City striker Abbi Grant scored a hat-trick against Biik-Kazygurt in the Champions League last October

"Everything has gone very much to plan, the guys around me - at the Institute of Sport and the SFA - have worked hard to make sure everything's available for me.

"That's been really helpful and things are looking good at this point but there's some hard work still to be done. Hopefully I'll be ready for Spain.

"[Abbi Grant's call up] is credit to the work that she's done, not just recently but consistently over last season and having had a little bit of experience playing with her at club level and training with her, she has a great attitude. Hopefully she can bring some fire to the squad."

The games against New Zealand, ranked 19th in the world and four places above Shelley Kerr's side, will be warm-ups for Women's World Cup qualifiers against Switzerland (A) and Poland (H) in April.

"It's team that the squad has played a number of times in the last couple of years," Corsie said.

Hibernian midfielder Lucy Graham
Hibernian midfielder Lucy Graham has been recalled to the Scotland squad

"They're certainly a tough side to play. In the rankings they sit similar to where we are, so it's good competition and good preparation for the World Cup qualifiers."

Scotland began their quest for a place at France 2019 with wins over Belarus and Albania in October. Kerr's side were in action in January, losing to Norway and drawing with Russia in friendlies, again in La Manga.

Corsie, meanwhile, hopes to secure her next move after recovering from injury.

"I've got some options I'm considering," the defender said.

"It's been about getting back fit and timing is difficult just after surgery. That has been my focus and there are people working hard on behalf of me to make sure that I have options. The direction I'm going in will be announced soon."

Scotland squad to face New Zealand

Goalkeepers: Lee Alexander (Glasgow City), Jenna Fife (Hibernian), Shannon Lynn (Vittsjo GIK).

Defenders: Chloe Arthur (Bristol City), Jennifer Beattie (Manchester City), Rachel Corsie (Unattached), Frankie Brown (Bristol City), Sophie Howard (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Rachel McLauchlan (Hibernian), Emma Mitchell (Arsenal), Kirsty Smith (Hibernian).

Midfielders: Leanne Crichton (Glasgow City), Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea), Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Joanne Love (Glasgow City), Caroline Weir (Liverpool), Lucy Graham (Hibernian).

Forwards: Fiona Brown (FC Rosengard), Abbi Grant (Glasgow City), Claire Emslie (Manchester City), Lisa Evans (Arsenal), Christie Murray (Unattached), Jane Ross (Manchester City).

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