Debut: Vs York City Knights (H) 18/04/21
Sam Hulme was one of six players to make the step from the Academy into Lois Forsell’s Rhinos Women first team in 2021 and was awarded the number 18 shirt.
The hooker made her club debut in a 68-16 win over York City Knights in round one of the 2021 season and created two try assists for Elle Frain and Sophie Robinson. She appeared over four consecutive matches following her debut, including against Bradford Bulls, where she made her Challenge Cup debut in a 70-0 win.
Newcastle born, Hulme was first inspired to play rugby league by Lee Carbutt, who was a Development Officer in schools in the North East, and from her first session Hulme was hooked. She joined Carbutt at Whitley Bay Barbarians, where she played with current Rhinos team mates Orla McCallion and Zoe Hornby and the three make the hour drive to training together twice a week.
Hulme has represented both rugby union and rugby league at a high level, representing Northumberland County (2013-18) and North of England (2015-16) in rugby union but also earned a place in the England Community Lions rugby league squad that was defeated by Wales 24-20 in 2019. While in the Rhinos Academy under Matty Bullough, the hooker was awarded the player’s player of the year after a good 2019 campaign.
Outside of rugby, Hulme previously went to school at Astley Community High School and Sixth Form and won the Champion Schools National Final in 2015. She also played a variety of sports including football, netball and athletics but rugby was the sport for her.
She said for any girl that is wanting to play rugby, it is a place for everyone and is an environment where all that matters is hard work. The bond with your team is like no other she has ever experienced and at the Rhinos especially, we are family. She also said that her mum is the biggest female influence in her life because she throws herself into all sports head first and is competitive in everything that she does. Even at the age of 47, her mum was competing for Miss Britain in bodybuilding alongside trying her hand in rugby league and union.
Hulme currently works as a resourcing lead for Test and Trace and is inspired by Penrith Panthers, New South Wales and Australia international half back Nathan Cleary. An interesting fact about Sam is that she once bought Ed Sheeran a cheesecake and her favourite sportsman in Australian weightlifter Tia-Clair Toomey.