Michaela Blyde is no stranger to accolades in the rugby world but the sevens player says any successes she has is a testament to those on the field with her.

Blyde and her Black Ferns Sevens sisters returned home to New Zealand once again as stars of the sevens world after taking out the first round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Glendale, Colorado with a 33-7 win against USA in the final match last Monday morning, New Zealand time.

Blyde also returned home as the Bay of Plenty Rugby's Supreme Award winner and one of three nominees up for the prestigious World Rugby's Women's Sevens Player of the Year award, which she won in 2017. She is up against fellow Black Ferns stars Portia Woodman and captain Sarah Goss.

"To have it be narrowed down to three players, but not just that, to be three Black Ferns girls is a massive honour and to be selected alongside Portia and Gossy who are obviously like massive legends of the sevens game ... is a massive honour because the work that they do on the field is massive," Blyde says.


"All those nominations are massive surprises because all I'm doing on the field is my job and in saying that, I wouldn't be able to do my job the way I do it without the teammates I have on the field with me because they're the ones doing all the work and I'm just trying to catch the ball and score a try for them, so it's absolutely a credit to them because I wouldn't be the player I am today without them, as well as the coaches."

Her successes are because of her team and she believes they are able to achieve them thanks to the bond she and her Black Ferns sisters have, which is something the squad has focused on since 2016 when Allan Bunting was appointed as head coach.

"The one thing that he focused on straight away was our off-field.

"With Allen his main priority was to make sure that we got our culture right.

"We developed this massive love for each other, this extreme sisterhood that you know is pretty unbreakable, we have each other's backs on and off the field and I think that's a massive priority when it comes to our level of professionalism."

That focus has obviously worked.

The Black Ferns' great start to the new sevens season winning the USA tournament is the team's sixth straight tournament win, adding to their Commonwealth Games gold medal and World Cup triumph from last season.

"Last year we didn't start very well coming fifth in Dubai, then second in Sydney so to come away with the win in Colorado has definitely brought us some good momentum."


But Blyde says they can't be complacent and still have plenty to work on.

After a few days of relaxation in Hamilton and spending time with partner Aidan Ross and friends, Blyde says she and her teammates will be fully focused on preparing for their next round of the HSBC World Series when they get back to training at Mount Maunganui today.

"We'll go back on to the drawing board on Monday to see what we can do better than what we did in Colorado.

"We've still got a lot more fitness work to do, we've only been training together for about five weeks compared to some other teams who have been together for a couple of months so we've still got so much more work to do just to get those one per centers right; our catch and pass and just to kind of clean up on our moves.

"Come Dubai hopefully we'll be, which is kind of scary, but we'll be even better in Dubai than what we were in Colorado so if I was any of the other teams I'd be a little bit worried."

They'll head into the second round of the series in Dubai on November 29-30 as the team to beat but Blyde says they're fine with that.


"We like being in the position of having the target on our back and we're quite used to having that pressure on us, and I think from that we even perform a little bit better."