BETHAN Dainton is proving to be as fast at learning on the rugby pitch as she is when flying down the wing.

The 26-year-old from Hengoed had never played the sport when the 2015 Six Nations was being played yet on Saturday she will be wearing the number 14 jersey for Wales Women against England at the Twickenham Stoop.

The army physical training instructor has enjoyed a rapid rise since taking up union last May when invited to play for the Dragons 7s team by Wales centre Gemma Rowland.

With a background in rugby league, crossfit, football and athletics, having represented Cwmbran Harriers and Wales on the track and at cross country, Dainton made quite an impression.

"The first time that Beth touched the ball she made an 80-metre break and scored a try, that certainly got my attention," recalls Wales Women head coach Rhys Edwards, who then invited her to join the national 7s set-up.

"She obviously has a good sporting background and is a good physical specimen, which is something we've not had a great deal of in the past, so that gave her a head start on a lot of others."

But having the tools for success is one thing, having the application is another and Dainton has flung herself into the sport with the Dragons and Bristol Ladies.

She has been a firm fixture on the sevens scene and in January received a call-up to the national squad for the Six Nations. When wing Ffion Bowen suffered an eye injury Dainton was drafted in to the XV for the tournament opener in Dublin.

"It's like a whirlwind, it almost doesn't feel like it's happening. I look at my cap and didn't think I'd ever get it," said Dainton, who lives in Newport.

"A year ago I was watching Gemma Rowland playing and making her debut, then in Ireland I was playing alongside her, it's mad.

"I've been playing for less than a year so I am still learning the game and even though I've been playing 7s I didn't expect to get picked for 15s. It's challenging, but I like a challenge.

"Rhys taught me everything I know – I didn't know how to tackle and I didn't know how to ruck. I basically just got the ball and ran so it's with his help that I'm where I am today.

"It'll be my fourth cap when I start at the Stoop and I didn't think it was possible. I'm living the dream… until I go back to work next month!"

Saturday will present her biggest challenge yet against an England side gunning for revenge after being turned over in Swansea last year and also eyeing a Grand Slam (kick-off 6.05pm).

However, Edwards is confident that the attitude shown by his novice on the wing will serve her in good stead at the home of Harlequins.

"She has taken in a lot in a short space of time when others would have fallen away," he said. "Her attitude is 'if I can't do it now then next time I will be able to', which is great for us as coaches.

"Beth has learnt the game, grown in confidence, put herself in a position to be selected and taken her opportunity. She has improved every game and has a big future ahead of her if she wants it."