Source: Canterbury

Canterbury launch Ellie Kildunne sportswear

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We were invited to speak with Ellie Kildunne to celebrate her collaboration with sports wear giant Canterbury.

Making history Ellie is the first female rugby player to have her own apparel range.

As well as promoting the brand Ellie will have full input on a complete new range including choice of colours, fabrics and design.

Gone are the days when women had to wear men’s kit for rugby.

The range will be high performance wear giving the athlete full confidence that they can play to the best of their ability without having to worry about comfort or reliability.

I suspect as with everything she takes on Ellie will engage with this new role with energy and passion.

Ellie Kildunne began playing rugby at around age 6 and for several years was playing rugby league, football and rugby union with her parents ferrying her around the country to enable her to compete. (They were also doing the same for her brother.) She feels that not enough recognition is given to the parents who go the extra mile for their children.

At age 16 she left home to enrol at Hartpury and decided to specialise in rugby union, she realised that she had to choose and would throw all her efforts at becoming a professional rugby player.

At the time it was hugely exciting for her but retrospectively she realises how much she missed of her personal family life and that makes her even more determined to be the best she possibly can. And to make her parents proud.

Called into the England set up Ellie was lucky to catch the eye of Danielle (Nolli) Waterman, she of the twinkling toes, and has benefited from the advice and experience that Nolli has generously shared.

One amazing example of Ellie being determined to grab every opportunity that opened up for her, was her selection as full back – a position she hadn’t actually played – she had to go and research the role and then try and make it her own, I think its fair to say she did an amazing job.

We spoke briefly about the massive crowds the Roses now attract and Ellie told me that she always asks her mother to send a photo of where they are in the crowd so that she can use that spot as a calming focus point.

The aim remains to fill Twickenham for the World Cup in 2025.

Ellie Kildunne is a Canterbury ambassador – she was speaking at the launch of Canterbury New Zealand’s latest women’s apparel collection, the first female rugby player to have an apparel range in conjunction with a rugby brand