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Canterbury NZ Launch Apparel Range With Ellie Kildunne – The First For A Female Rugby Player

Ellie Kildunne

Heritage rugby brand, Canterbury of New Zealand, has today announced the launch of its latest apparel collection. The range sees a collaboration with Canterbury brand Ambassador and England ace, Ellie Kildunne.

The collection is an industry milestone, with Kildunne being the first female rugby player to have her own range of apparel in conjunction with a rugby brand. 

Additionally, Canterbury has announced that the flying full-back will be operating on a consultancy basis for the Canterbury NZ product team. This is to ensure that Canterbury are creating fit for purpose women’s products, as well as supporting Ellie’s passions for creativity, to provide a future pathway and experience away from the rugby pitch.

The range will feature t-shirts, hoodies, joggers, crop-tops and booty shorts, and are now available via

Harlequins and England star, Ellie Kildunne, commented: “It’s so exciting to work with a brand who you know doesn’t just support my creativity on the pitch, but also allows me to express myself through designing and creating off the pitch too.

“I spend a lot of my time in kit for both Harlequins and England and you don’t have much opportunity to express your style when you’re in uniform and in training. That’s why I think it’s so important to have clothes that you feel comfortable and confident in too for those times I’m not on the field.”

Speaking on her stand-out items within the range, Ellie added: “I really love the hoodie that we’ve created. I like the heavy cotton used as not only does it keep you warm, but it hangs in a way that it could be dressed up or dressed down.

I had a play round with the colours on this hoodie and I really like that all the tones used throughout the collection were somewhat earthy, so there is extra depth to them, yet you can still style them in a way personal to you.

“I love the design of the logo as well. Being able to incorporate the curl with the letter E is super cool and unique to me. My hair is something that I’ve learnt to love over the years and I think it’s a large part of my image now too.

Playing with my hair down and with the curls out is another way that I express myself through my style even if I am in “uniform”.

Despite her heavy involvement throughout the design and creative process, Kildunne is still focusing on rugby: “I try not to put too much thought into my career post rugby, and try to enjoy the now, with all the bumps and lumps and lessons that come along the way. It’s been really fun designing the pieces in my collection and something I’d definitely consider post rugby.

That, alongside the photography and video involved in marketing the collection has also inspired me to become even more creative and potentially expand into the future.

“I had the best time shooting for this collection, not only did we do the shoot in my hometown, at places that mean a lot to me and my family, we also shot the photos on film by the wonderful photographer Milly Noble.

Again, this it’s super cool to me as I love film photography, so creating images in that same style by a great photographer is something I’m over the moon with.”

Luke Doddrell, Global SVP of Canterbury at Canterbury NZ commented: “As part of our Forward to 50 programme, our ultimate ambition is simple: 50/50 participation in rugby. For this to happen, the female players must receive the opportunity to showcase not just their playing ability, but themselves as individuals. 

“Ellie is one of our amazing Ambassadors, and to be able to launch the first ever female brand apparel collaboration with her has been incredible.

The range has been designed and crafted to the highest standards, and for us to be able to help Ellie showcase her personality and express herself through her passions, both on and off the field, is what we aim for as a brand.”