A BALLET lesson meant Cerys Hale didn't want to get dirty in the Caerleon mud when she went to her first rugby training session but the Dragons prop will have no problem getting stuck in for Wales against England in the Six Nations on Sunday.

The 25-year-old has won 19 caps and is set to be involved against the Grand Slam chasing English at Cardiff Arms Park this weekend (kick-off 12.30pm).

Hale is a Dragons stalwart and rugby is a family affair for the teacher from Newport.

"When I was young I used to watch my brother in the junior sides at Newport High School Old Boys," she said.

"My dad was coaching there, my mum was a first-aider but I got bored of watching and nagged my dad who took it to the committee and started a girls' team which was great.

"Cliff Studley, who is well known at NHSOB, always tells the story of me turning up at my first training session not wanting to get my pink gloves dirty because I was going to ballet!

"I think he was exaggerating a bit but I soon fell in love with the game and everything that comes with it - anyone who knows NHSOB knows you have no choice but to get used to the mud!

South Wales Argus:

"I played for the girls' teams at NHSOB for seven years until I was 18. The club played an important role, not only in my playing career but other aspects of the game too.

"I used to coach the under-8s and helped my dad with the special needs team there too. The club had, and still has a big family feel – I would never feel awkward about walking into the club on my own as I know so many people there."

Hale is a leading light for the Dragons and plays a pivotal part in bringing through the next generation of Gwent talent.

South Wales Argus:

"I've been involved with the Jesters and Knights girls' clusters (in Ebbw Vale and Newport) since they started. The Jesters took off massively straight away whereas it's been a longer process for the Knights, but it's great to know they're both doing well," she said.

"I went to a Jesters session last summer where more than 50 girls were enjoying playing all different formats of the game and it was lovely to be able to join in.

"I've played for the Dragons since age-grade, was lucky enough to captain the Under-18s and senior side and now I assist with the coaching at Under-18 level.

"I know what it was like to be struggling to put a girls' team together so it's great there are now more opportunities for girls to play the game."

And Hale, who featured off the bench against France and was an unused replacement in Italy, hopes to have plenty of backing in the capital on Sunday afternoon.

"I really love bumping into people at our games who know me from a club, cluster, the region or from when I taught at Brynmawr School," she said. "It would be great to have a big vocal support behind us."

Tickets for Wales Women's home Six Nations games are on sale at cardiffblues.com/tickets