Continuing on her successes from 2015, Portia Woodman has been nominated for the IRB Women's Sevens Player of the Year award.

The Kaikohe-born winger was a vital part of New Zealand's silver medal effort at the Rio Olympics, using her strength and speed to dominate opposition teams.

Woodman said that without the people around her, the nomination would not have been possible.

"The nomination means a lot to me but without my teammates I wouldn't be up this award. They are the ones who either steal the ball or retain the ball. I'm the one who tries to finish it off for them," she said.

"Also my family are a huge impact on my life and career; they support me far or near. They keep me grounded and tell me what's up when I need it."


"The belief my coaches have had in me has made me achieve the goal I set out four years ago."

Woodman switched codes to rugby and sevens in 2012 after representing the Northern Mystics netball team.

It didn't take her long to become part of the New Zealand rugby setup, making her Black Ferns debut in 2013. That same year she was part of the New Zealand team that won the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Woodman said going to the Olympics was a big highlight in her career.

"Rio was such an amazing experience, to see athletes you see on TV in the dining hall or walking around the village was incredible."

"Being able to play in the Olympics in front of so many family members was a definite highlight for me and the team."

Woodman was named 2015 Women's Sevens Player of the Year, the same award she is up for this year.

She said playing both variations of rugby has been great for her.

"Being able to balance 7s and 15s has been really good because NZRU have made 15s a priority this year and next year," Woodman said.

"They have both teams working together so both programmes can have the best team they can."

Woodman is currently in the Black Ferns rugby squad, playing as a winger.

Going forward, Woodman is not resting on her laurels and feels she can make improvements as a player.

"My 'work ons' moving forward would be to get a better understanding of the game of rugby itself, which is where the 15s come in," she said.

"And possibly play in a couple more positions.''

Woodman has a busy schedule ahead of her in the next four years with the Women's Rugby World Cup next year in Ireland as well as the Seven's World Series and the potential to gain more medals.

"I think for me the short term goal is the Commonwealth Games (held on the Gold Coast in 2018), but yeah, I would like to make the team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."

The World Rugby Awards 2016 will be held on Sunday, November 13, at the Hilton London Metropole.