Rio Olympics 2016: Talent for rugby runs in the family

Niall Williams.
Niall Williams.

A gift for rugby appears to be a familial trait for at least three of New Zealand's women Seven's team.

Niall Williams, Kayla McAlister and Portia Woodman all have familial ties to an All Black.

Niall Williams, 28

Known as "Nizzle", Niall Williams is the little sister of All Black legend Sonny Bill Williams.

The mother-of-two, who also has a twin sister, made her debut for the women's team in Dubai last December after a decade of playing touch rugby.

She told the Herald earlier this year that her older brother, 30, was a good role model with the hard training and dedication he put in, but said her own fitness commitments were also considerable.

Williams said if she'd never made the Sevens on the professional level, she'd still be a mum, do "something" related to sport or be a professional comedian.

Kayla McAlister.
Kayla McAlister.

Kayla McAlister, 28

A keen netball and rugby player, Kayla McAlister celebrated her birthday with her team's successful day on the field at Rio de Janeiro.

The 28-year-old, who had her birthday on August 6, the first official day of the Games, is the sister of 32-year-old Luke McAlister, who played for the All Blacks at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Kayla McAlister, who formerly played for the Northern Mystics netball team, has played professionally for the Sevens since 2012.

She said her favourite rugby player is her brother, whom she described as "humble" with a high training ethic and great rugby skills.

She credited her father, Charlie McAlister, for his endless support and guidance.

Portia Woodman.
Portia Woodman.

Portia Woodman, 25

Sporting runs in Portia Woodman's blood with two All Blacks and one Silver Fern in her family history.

Her father is Kawhena Woodman, who played for the national team in 1986, and her uncle is Fred Woodman, who played 14 matches for the All Blacks in 1980 and 1981.

The 25-year-old said her father was her inspiration but her brothers were supportive of her career.

She joined the women's team in 2013, and earlier played netball for the Northern Mystics.

- NZ Herald

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