Topics: Rereātea - Midday News, Rugby

Woodman first woman to make rugby top 10 list

By Jessica Tyson
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Black Fern star Portia Woodman is the first woman to be ranked in the top 10 of 50 of rugby’s most influential figures.

Listed in Rugby World magazine, Woodman of Ngāpuhi is in ninth place, two spots below All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

Rugby World editor and CNN contributor Alan Dymock said, "Portia Woodman's place in the top 10 is owed not only to her sustained excellence on the field ... but also due to her willingness to speak out publicly for the women's game, challenging authorities on behalf of her fellow players."

It comes after a stellar 12 months for the player, who was part of the Black Ferns side that won gold at the Commonwealth Games.  She was also the leading try-scorer as the team won their fifth World Cup last year before being named Player of the Year at the Rugby Awards.

Only days ago Goodman was also announced by the America Women's Sports Foundation as one of the 10 finalists for the annual Sportswoman of the Year awards in New York.

Renowned tennis star sisters Venus and Serena Williams are past winners of the award.  This year’s winner will be announced on October 17.

Recent interview with Māori Television

In a recent interview with Māori Television, Woodman said the best part about her job is being able to inspire others.

“We get to inspire, go around the world and show people that we’re living the dream and it’s achievable to anyone and everyone.”

One of the major highlights of her career was taking part in the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“Being given the opportunity to play in the Black Ferns and then getting to the Olympics was an amazing dream. That was a dream come true and getting that silver was the icing on the cake.”

Woodman says her parents taught her to make the most of every opportunity and she takes “a lot of pride in knowing where I come from and knowing my whakapapa, who I am.”

“My whānau have been really staunch in who we are and who our tūpuna are because without knowing where we come from we can’t go forward.”