The Hucclecote club in her home city of Gloucester launched the playing career of Kelly Smith, who was introduced to the game there at the age of ten. She moved on to Worcester Valkyres, made her debut against Saracens five years ago and is now in her second year of studies in physical education and school sports at Hartpury College.
Kelly previously attended Beaufort Community School, has made six appearances for England U20 this year and been on the losing side only once, against France in March last year. She appeared in all three late summer victories over Canada at Trent College, can play on the wing or at full back and has represented GB Students sevens.
She scored her maiden try in her third World Sevens Series event during the 45-7 win over Argentina the Challenge Trophy semi-final in Las Vegas this March.
A specialist in the abbreviated game, she won the player of the divisional tournament award in 2012 and attributes her understanding of rugby to Scott Bemand, the England Women lead coach, in training for EPS camps, extra skill sessions and sevens development camps. Kelly said: “I first realised that I had potential when being chosen at any early age for the Midlands team and then for the England U20 squad. My dad is a big rugby fan and always took me to watch games and drove me everywhere to take part in matches. My brother Christian also plays – he’s with Gordon League. University can sometimes clash with my rugby but it’s all about time keeping.”
She also enjoys playing netball, loves doing spa days and having coffee with friends while her musical tastes include R&B. Matilda is her favourite film, Dinner Date her top TV show and Me Before You is the book she enjoyed most. The good old English roast dinner with extra potatoes tickles her taste buds.
Jonny Wilkinson was the player Kelly most admired while growing up and she describes her own personality as “fun, happy and ditzy” while her friends regard her as “funny, smiley and competitive”. That final quality was recently summed up when she ran a 10K Race for Life for Cancer Research UK.
Last updated: 6 March 2017