Orewa resident Becky Wood has been selected for the Black Ferns national women’s rugby team – the women’s equivalent of the All Blacks.
She is one of two new squad members chosen ahead of the June test series.
“It’s still sinking in to be honest and I don’t think it will really hit me until I run out on the pitch,” she says.
Becky only started playing 15-a-side rugby three years ago. She played as a lock for East Coast Bays Rugby Club as a way to improve her physicality for sevens rugby.
“I’ve always wanted to play, but growing up I was more involved with netball and touch.”
She was given the opportunity to attend a Black Ferns training last year and has been working towards selection for the past 12 months.
At 29, she felt that she needed to commit to make the team this time around.
“The challenge is finding time outside of work, which makes it hard for my partner.”
Becky is a paid firefighter at Silverdale Fire Station. She trains with her North Harbour squad in the evenings and plays on Saturday in the Farah Palmer Cup provincial competition.
Training is five days a week with gym, skill, team work and recovery sessions.
Black Ferns players receive a daily allowance instead of a salary, so working a job is common. “The women’s game is definitely growing so it would be nice to see pay introduced in the future.”
Becky hopes to bring a physical element to her new team. “I have a high work rate and always back my tackling ability. I’m currently working on improving my line-out positioning and timing.”
Becky is looking forward to training with Black Ferns lock of six years Eloise Blackwell.
The June series will see the Black Ferns play Canada in Wellington, Australia in Christchurch and England in Rotorua as a curtain raiser for the Maori All Blacks game against the British and Irish Lions.
Becky says she hasn’t thought much further about goals since making the team, but has ambitions to be selected for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 that will be played in Ireland in August.