If you’re looking for proof that it’s never too late to succeed at something new, England and Darlington Mowden Park Sharks forward Heather Kerr is your answer.

Kerr, a former hockey goalkeeper, had never touched a rugby ball until she took part in a charity match at Durham University aged 21 and since then she’s never looked back.

Fast forward two years and she had joined DMP Sharks, who now play in the women’s top division Tyrrells Premier 15s, and by 2015, she had made her debut for the Red Roses at the 2015 Six Nations.

It’s been a whirlwind few years for the 28-year-old, who was part of the England squad who won all three of their autumn internationals in November, but it’s been an experience she will never regret.

“I played once, and I don’t think I ever touched a hockey stick again,” she said.

“Before I knew it, I was playing for Durham University. I already had the physical attributes to play sport, it was just a question of learning how to actually play rugby.

“I’d never watched rugby as a child and my family were never interested either, so it was one of those strange coincidences where I just landed in the sport.”

If Kerr’s twenties don’t already sound hectic enough, add into the mix that she recently completed a PhD in Civil Engineering at Durham and now works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the university.

It may sound a tough balancing act but for Kerr her job is more a labour of love, the loosehead prop admitting she worked remotely on her research projects while on away duty with England.

That said, if the offer of a full-time contract with the Red Roses ever came up, Kerr knows she would jump at the chance.

“That's my full-time job and rugby is my part-time passion,” she added.

“Now I'm a full-time working adult, I have to schedule my leave very carefully to make sure I can actually go away and play for England in summer and in autumn tours.

“If I was ever offered a full-time contract, it’s just something you don't really say no to.

“I know it would be one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Very few people get to play sport full-time in their lives and for a lot of women it's still one of those dream jobs, isn't it?

“I'm not that old but in rugby terms, I'm getting there. I know I have the rest of my life to work, so whatever opportunity I take I'm going to do it with full force.”

Kerr and DMP Sharks take on Saracens on Saturday at Allianz Park, kick off at 1.30pm.