She is the one who sings the songs, whose effusive grunts accompany each tackle and whose eyeliner does not smudge. At 18, she is the baby of the squad, her mother's 'animal' and a self-proclaimed DJ. Daniella Means ticks off a list of nicknames: Thomas the Tank Engine, the Wall, DJ Dani and from the stands, her mother proudly cheers on her 'little animal'. 'She likes so many songs,' said Hong Kong women's sevens coach Zanio Yong Chi-fung. 'She's our energiser on the team. She's fresh, young and likes to talk to everyone.' Cheerleading skills aside, teammate Royce Chan Leong-sze said she once told coaches Means had to be a prop because she was too tough to be a centre. 'The first time I met her she was really girly, she's not really like a 'rugby player' but then she's always tackling,' Chan said. 'When we tackle, we go down but she's like a wall.' The South Island School student (who celebrated her 18th birthday last week) is in the midst of finishing secondary school, selecting a university and playing in her first rugby sevens tournament. Her introduction to the sport was, with the exception to one person, not particularly remarkable. A couple of years ago a friend invited her to practice and a few days latter, in her first game, she gave another player a concussion. Means apologised profusely and insists she hasn't knocked anyone out since. Yet there's a glimmer in her eye that indicates she would not be completely inconsolable should a repeat event occur. Means finds the inherent aggressiveness among the most attractive parts of the game. 'When I first started, I was like, 'Wow you can really just let yourself go in the game',' Means said. 'It's the tackling - everyone on the team can tell you how much I grunt when I go into a tackle.' Calling rugby therapeutic, Means played all sorts of sports growing up, including gymnastics, basketball, athletics and cross-country. While she took sports seriously, none of the others seemed to stick in the way that rugby did. Her affinity for aggression wasn't realised until she was introduced to it. Told that she's considered as one of the more glamorous girls on the team, Means reluctantly discusses eyeliner and insists she doesn't wear much make-up. In a short time, she has risen to become one of Hong Kong's most promising young players, so much so the team manager lamented the fact she would be leaving for four years while she attends university, either in England or in the US. Means said she wanted to play rugby at university and hoped she would somehow be able to stay part of the Hong Kong team. In the meantime, during her final year of school in Hong Kong, her interest in rugby has been all-consuming. 'At the start of the school year I was playing for four teams, juggling 14 hours of training a week, not including games,' Means said. 'Then of course, you know, mom says you have to concentrate on your studies. I had to drop out of one squad.' Means is not entirely convinced. 'I'm in the prime of my life. I should be doing this.'