Cumbrian rugby union star Abbie Ward is back in the England squad - just six months after giving birth.

The Bristol lock, from Keswick, has been named in the Red Roses' training squad for the Women's Six Nations.

Ward, who is joined in the squad by Maryport's Cath O'Donnell, became a mum to daughter Hallie last July.

The 61-cap star now looks set for a return to the international arena, having made her club comeback some 17 weeks after giving birth.

The 30-year-old is in a 38-player squad named by head coach John Mitchell as preparations get under way for the Six Nations which start in March.

“We are excited to come together for our first camp of 2024 and build on the positive experience of WXV and introduce some new people to what we are about," said Mitchell upon announcing his squad.

News and Star: Ward's fellow Cumbrian Cath O'Donnell, left, is also in the squadWard's fellow Cumbrian Cath O'Donnell, left, is also in the squad (Image: PA)

“It is our first opportunity to revisit what we value, update our athletic profiling data of the group and re-focus on where our game is working and where we take it to next.”

Ward's return to action with Bristol in November was described as "sensational" by Bristol.

Her most recent outing in England colours was in November 2022, in England's World Cup final defeat to New Zealand.

The Red Roses will start the defence of their Six Nations title against Italy on March 24.

Ward's fellow Cumbrian O'Donnell, meanwhile, will be looking to add to her 30-caps, the Loughborough Lightning forward earning her latest call-up for the training squad.