During her day job Hawke's Bay sevens women's representative Nicolette Adamson is well recognised thanks to her three-legged heading dog Greg.

"Everybody knows him. We call him Three-Peg Greg, he travels with me on all of my farm visits and comes on training runs with me," Vet Services (Hawke's Bay) Ltd Waipukurau clinic vet Adamson explained.

Should Adamson, 24, continue to make as much progress at sevens and 15-a-side rugby as she has during the past 11 months she may become better known for her sevens feats. Despite never playing rugby before playing for Otane at the February Hawke's Bay Sevens tournament in Waipukurau Adamson has made the Maurice Trapp Group Hawke's Bay Tui side for this weekend's TECT National Sevens tournament in Tauranga.

"I had always played touch and football and I continued to play football while I studied vet science at Massey University in Palmerston North. That's where I got my speed from," Adamson recalled.


It was her speed which caught the attention of Hawke's Bay Tui 15s head coach Steve Woods early in the Waipukurau tournament during which she scored six tries.

"I didn't know who Steve was. When I told him I didn't play rugby for anybody he suggested I play for Tech but I ended up playing for Taradale as it was closer for me when I travelled from Takapau.

"It was there that I met Duffy [Tui and Black Ferns player Krysten Cottrell] ... I knew who she was. We struggled during the season because we were short of forwards but we carried on playing and I was lucky enough to make Steve's Tui team and I scored a try in each of my two games against Taranaki and Tasman.

"Obviously I was feeling my way at that level and keen to make the most of whatever game time I got," Adamson said.

Her biggest sporting success before making the Tui squad was playing for the Massey football team which reached the Kate Sheppard Cup final in 2015 where they were beaten 4-0 by Glenfield Rovers in Auckland. The Kate Sheppard Cup is the country's elite knockout tournament, the female equivalent of the Chatham Cup.

While Adamson is adamant she will have to put on a bit more muscle if she is going to become more successful at sevens she still managed four tries for the Tui at the recent Central Region Sevens in Levin where Hawke's Bay lost 24-7 to Manawatu in the final. This was Manawatu's eighth consecutive title.

Adamson, who has been in the Bay for two years, pointed out one of the keys to her try-scoring feats was the combination she has developed with centre Felicity Powdrell who will again be playing inside her this weekend.

"Felicity sets me up and we work well together."


Although Adamson will continue to play for Taradale next year and continue to work hard to remain in the Tui 15-a-side team she believes she has a better future in sevens.

'I'm impressed with all the training programmes I get from the Hawke's Bay union. It's a big commitment travelling an hour to and from trainings in Napier and combining that with 45 to 50 hour weeks at work. It's hard to let work go when I switch into training mode ... all the travel and gym work keeps me busy."

"I love my job. It's everything I dreamed of and they look after me really well."

Adamson was a finalist for the Central Hawke's Bay senior female sportsperson of the year award which fellow Tui and former Black Fern Emma Jensen won.

"Emma is incredible. In football I played in some great teams and made great friends. But I'm so impressed by the women involved with rugby. I'm inspired by them to work hard to go further and be better. I've never worked so hard in a sport."

"Making the Black Ferns sevens team is my long-term goal. I don't know if its realistic but anywhere near that squad will be great. I realise I may have to play in a few tournaments overseas to enhance my chances."

Adamson ranked Black Ferns sevens world champion Stacey Waaka as her favourite player.

"She is always infectiously happy."

Adamson will have numerous family members from Waikato travelling to Tauranga to support her this weekend.

"I can't wait," she added with an enthusiasm level which suggests her long-term goal is definitely realistic.

Tui sevens coach Dan Rodden is buzzing about Adamson's potential.

"Nicolette has height and speed and those are components the Black Ferns sevens selectors are looking for," Rodden said.

Another speedster new to the national sevens scene is Hastings Rugby and Sports player Monique Thomson.

"We've got size, speed and skill. It's very exciting and we're definitely aiming for the top eight," Rodden said.

Powerful Tui 15-a-side forwards Kathleen Brown and Liana Mikaele-Tu'u have been told to go out and create plenty of space for the likes of Adamson and Thomson. Expect Brown and Mikaele-Tu'u to attract more than one defender when they are on the carry.

Black Ferns 15-a-side player and multiple national sevens champion with Manawatu, Cottrell, is unavailable in the wake of knee surgery but will still provide plenty of value to the campaign in her assisting coaching role.

Another of the Tui 15-a-side speedsters, Cortez Te Pou, is also unavailable as she is playing for the New Zealand Secondary Schools team at their international tournament in Auckland this weekend.

Rodden and his troops won't be short on knowledge on two of their pool play opponents, defending champions Manawatu and Taranaki, who they met at the Central Region tournament. Counties-Manukau are their other pool play opponents. Hawke's Bay should improve upon last year's 11th placing in their 12-team competition.

The Tui side's schedule for today is: 11.45am v Counties-Manukau; 2.35pm v Manawatu; 5.35pm v Taranaki.

The Hawke's Bay Tui side is: Shaylee Tipiwai (captain), Treyana Faulkner, Nicolette Adamson, Felicity Powdrell, Julie Ferguson-Ngawaka, Niamh Jefferson, Anna Powdrell, Teilah Ferguson, Michaela Baker, Kathleen Brown, Monique Thomson, Liana Mikaele-Tu'u.