YOUNG Keighley rugby union sensation Ellie Kildunne has been called up to the England Women’s Sevens squad for their World Rugby Sevens Series games in New Zealand this weekend.

The 20-year-old was named in the 15-woman roster for the 2019/20 season, but did not feature in the first three tournaments, which were in the USA, Dubai and South Africa respectively.

But, having now returned from injury, she could prove vital for this fourth one in Hamilton, and will be hoping to help England to their best showing yet.

They only finished ninth in the first two tournaments, but put in a much better display in Cape Town last month, making the quarter finals before a brave 26-21 defeat to New Zealand. That lifted them up to ninth in the series.

After beating England, New Zealand went on to win that South Africa tournament, putting them top of the overall tournament standings with 56 points.

England will be in Pool B with them this weekend, in a tough group which also features Fiji and China.

There are 12 teams in the tournament, which means that after the group stages, there will then be play-offs to determine 11th place, ninth, seventh and fifth.

The semi-finals will be between the three pool winners and the best second placed team, before the final takes place on Sunday evening (7:30am UK time).

The action will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, which should allow Kildunne to display her talents to a wider audience.

She used to play 15s rugby and burst on to the scene towards the end of 2017, when, with only a handful of senior matches under her belt, she scored a try on her England debut when she came off the bench against Canada.

Kildunne’s career actually has its roots in rugby league, where she started at Keighley Albion before stints at West Park Leeds and Castleford.

She then joined Tyrrells Premier 15s outfit Gloucester-Hartpury for the 2017/18 campaign. Her impressive performances there led to five England starts in the 2018 Women’s Six Nations.

The pacy youngster made the transition from 15s to sevens in August 2018, having scored nine tries in eight games for England.

Discussing Kildunne’s inclusion in the England Sevens squad for this weekend, her head coach Charlie Hayter said: “We’re delighted to have Ellie and Sydney (Gregson) back.

“They’ve both worked tirelessly on their rehab programmes and it’s a real boost to have them available for selection and back with the group.”