A TALENTED young rugby star is fighting for her place on the England Lions upcoming self-funded tour.

Mia Atherton, from Leigh, is a passionate young sportsperson who has held a black belt in jujitsu, played football for Leigh Genesis and Eastleigh Diamonds, and rugby league for Leigh East.

With a diehard rugby league family, which includes former Leigh Centurions committee members and a former player in great uncle Alf Wilkson, rugby has developed as the real passion in Mia's life.

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Leigh Journal: Mia earned her first England Lions cap last yearMia earned her first England Lions cap last year (Image: Mia Atherton)

Showing not only her talents but determination to push through adversity, Mia recovered from a 12-month ACL and MCL knee injury to earn a spot at the Swinton Lionesses open age team, aged just 16.

After impressing at Swinton for the past two years, Mia has successfully trialled for Wigan Warriors' under 19s Academy squad and has also been invited to train with the first team in recent weeks.

Leigh Journal: Mia is fundraising to travel to Serbia this OctoberMia is fundraising to travel to Serbia this October (Image: Mia Atherton)

With around 150 players attempting to earn a spot in the England Lions squad, the Leigh rugby player scored the winning try in her first cap last year, aged 17, and has again been named in the squad for the upcoming tour of Serbia this October.

In addition to all of her sporting achievements, the 18-year-old has been juggling this along with her studies and part-time work, and is due to embark on a sports rehabilitation course at Salford University this month.

As the Community Lions tour is self-funded, Mia had her family have been attempting to raise enough money so that she can travel on the experience of a lifetime.

Mia's mum Jane said: "Mia has such a funny lovely approach to life, and she's such a self disciplined and committed team player.

"From a young age she has been very sport driven and we as a family have always been immensely proud of her achievements.

"We have high hopes for Mia and time will tell!"

With reams of positive comments on the fundraiser, you can donate to Mia's England Lions fundraiser at this link.