When Michaela Blyde was announced Women's Sevens Player of the Year at the 2017 World Rugby Awards held in Monaco last week a rush of emotion nearly overtook her.

"Hearing my name over the microphone was quite scary. My legs were shaking, I could feel my heart beating out of my chest and was thinking to myself, okay just keep walking up to the stage, be cool and don't cry," she said.

"It was an absolute roller coaster of emotions. Overall I am extremely honoured and extremely grateful just to be a part of the event."

The dynamic winger scored 40 tries in the last World Rugby Women's Sevens Series campaign to clinch the award.


She admits to feeling overwhelmed at the who's who of rugby stardom in the room.

"I remember walking into the awards and saying to Ruby (Tui) and Portia (Woodman) that I felt really out of place. The people in that room, you could say they were legends. To me just being around them was just incredible and being able to get some selfies with them was pretty memorable."

Blyde's night was made even more significant with the World Cup winning Black Ferns awarded World Rugby's Team of the Year, a first for a women's side.

"For them to win the award and finally get that recognition is awesome and I am a very, very proud women's rugby player in New Zealand. To be a part of that celebration is very special," she said.

"It is great to see the success for women's rugby in New Zealand. It is obviously a sport that is growing quite quickly around the world and more girls are wanting to give the sport a go knowing that it is an Olympic and Commonwealth Games event. To see more numbers registered to play the sport is awesome and goes to show how much talent is coming through our programme which is really exciting."

Blyde is now happily settled in Mount Maunganui after making the big decision to leave her Taranaki home to be able to train and compete with other top players.

"I think it just goes to show the classic quote that hard work pays off and that is exactly what happened to me," she said.

Despite all the recent success for the women's sevens team there is no lack of motivation. Getting better seems to be the daily goal.

"What helps with our motivation is we are winning all of our games, we are winning tournaments but we are still wanting to improve. We are the best in the world at the moment but we still have weaknesses and some strengths that still need strengthening," Blyde said.

"We have to make sure we tick off every box and keep getting fitter because obviously when we are fit the game becomes a little bit easier and a lot more fun for us.

"Self-motivation is important in being part of this group. We are really tight and have a really good sisterhood. We get on really, really with management and brilliant coaches who know exactly what to do when it comes to training days and game days."

Blyde and the New Zealand team are preparing for this weekend's Dubai start to the 2017-2018 HSBC Women's World Rugby Sevens.