As a youngster, Ellie Gilbert was regularly brought along to watch her older brother Morgan play rugby.
The experience of watching her sibling lit a spark in her and now the young hooker finds herself wearing the Red Rose with pride, while making her mark in the Tyrrells Premier 15s with Gloucester-Hartpury Women RFC.
Gilbert was inspired by the exploits of her elder sibling, who plays for Ivybridge in her native Devon, and has always pushed her to do better.
With the backing of parents Kevin and Becky, she decided to ‘give rugby a go’ herself, embarking on a career that has taken her all the way to international honours.
Born in Plymouth and now studying for a degree in sports therapy at Hartpury University, Gilbert only began playing at the age of 14 for Devonport Services before going on to captain Devon Under 15s, winning the Tamar Cup – an inter-county competition against Cornwall – three times.
She also enjoyed a spell with Exeter Saracens before eventually joining Gloucester-Hartpury in the revamped top tier of the women’s game.
Her debut came on the opening weekend of the season as the south west side got their Tyrrells Premier 15s campaign off to a flyer with a 32-3 win on the road at Darlington Mowden Park Sharks.
Meanwhile, her favourite moment so far for England U20s came when she represented her country against France during the 2016-17 season.