Bay of Plenty's Michaela Blyde has been named World Rugby's Women's Sevens Player for the second consecutive year.
Blyde, who attended the 2018 World Rugby Awards, held at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo today (NZT), gave her teammate and fellow nominee, Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Goss, a hug before heading to the stage to collect her accolade.
Blyde was one of three nominees for the World Rugby Women's Sevens Player of the Year award, along with her teammates Sarah Goss and Portia Woodman.
Goss and Blyde were at the awards having been in Abu Dhabi in preparation for the HSBC Dubai Sevens later this week. Woodman was unable attend having been ruled out of contention for the Dubai tournament after rupturing her Achilles at training earlier this month.
In a video posted by World Rugby today, 22-year-old Blyde said the accolade was an "absolute surprise".
"For starters to have three Black Ferns Sevens players all nominated for one award is incredible, that just comes to show how well our team is going at the moment," Blyde said in the video.
"It's an honour in itself to be nominated alongside Portia and Gossy who we all know are incredible rugby players in the women's world series circuit so, you know, just to be here with them is amazing."
Being so young, Blyde said she had so much more rugby in her and each year, just as she had done this year, she would continue to set goals.
"I've still got so much more learning to do of the game and so many more aspects of the game that I can get better at.
"Every year I set a goal for myself just to improve myself just to make every tournament team, to improve myself as a rugby player and that's my goal for this year as well."
This latest accolade adds to Blyde's already impressive list of wins this year also scoring Sports Person of the Year and the Supreme award at the Carrus Rugby Awards in October, the Sportswoman of the Year award at the Bay of Plenty Sports Awards this month. This on top of winning gold at the Commonwealth Games and a World Cup win with her Black Ferns Sevens team has proved to be a successful year for Blyde.
World Rugby Men's Player of the Year – Winner - Johnny Sexton (Ireland).
World Rugby Women's Player of the Year – Winner - Jessy Tremouliere (France).
World Rugby Team of the Year – Winner - Ireland
World Rugby Coach of the Year – Winner - Joe Schmidt (Ireland)
World Rugby Referee Award – Winner - Angus Gardner
Try of the Year – Winner - Brodie Retallick (All Blacks)
World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year - Winner - Aphiwe Dyantyi (South Africa)
World Rugby Men's Sevens Player of the Year - Winner - Perry Baker (USA)
World Rugby Women's Sevens Player of the Year - Winner - Michaela Blyde (Black Ferns Sevens)
IRPA Special Merit Award – Winners: DJ Forbes (NZ)
, Stephen Moore (Australia)
Spirit of Rugby Award - Winner - Jamie Armstrong
Award for Character - Winner - Doddie Weir - Former Scotland international
Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service – Winner - Yoshirō Mori - President of the Japan Rugby Union.