Ball-handling runs in the family for Ellie Mulhearn, so perhaps it’s no surprise that the Bristol Ladies youngster embarked on a career that has seen her earn her international stripes.
The South Gloucestershire and Stroud College student, who is currently studying for BTEC Level 3 qualifications in both sport and animal management, made her England U20s debut in a 46-8 victory over Canada in Nottingham in August 2016.
Her uncle Ken made his name as a footballer and the former goalkeeper racked up nearly 400 career appearances for Shrewsbury Town, after winning the first division with Manchester City in the 1967-68 season.
Ken’s grandson Harry Lewis also became a goalkeeper and is contracted to Southampton, placing plenty of sporting pedigree among the Mulhearn bloodline.
The tighthead prop started playing for Kingswood as a nine-year-old before going on to represent Cleve – her England U20s debut came alongside Cleve teammate Hollie Cunningham – as well as Somerset.
Mulhearn’s county coach Patrick Cook still never fails to send her good luck messages on a matchday while her SGS College coach Matt Belbin was also integral to helping develop her understanding of the game, continually pushing her out of her comfort zone.
Part of the Bristol Women’s Rugby Academy, Mulhearn, who has represented Englamd at U18 level, made her Bristol debut against Wasps in 2016.