Rikki Swannell has been confirmed as Sky Television's first female Super Rugby play-by-play commentator.

Head of Corporate Communications at Sky, Melodie Robinson, said although Sky has had women commentate rugby games in the past, it will be the first time a female will call the action.

"Every year Sky Sport looks at improving our rugby coverage and this year we've added Rikki Swannell to our group of play-by-play commentators," Robinson told the Herald.

"Grant Nisbett, Tony Johnson and Scotty Stevenson will call most of the games as always, World Rugby sevens regular Willie Lose has a couple, and Rikki has been scheduled for two matches ... she will also be on the sideline for at least three matches."

Sky Sports presenter and former Black Fern Melodie Robinson picture supplied by Sky Sports PUBLICITY HANDOUT
Sky Sports presenter and former Black Fern Melodie Robinson picture supplied by Sky Sports PUBLICITY HANDOUT

It's not the first time Swannell has contributed to the expanding diversity in sport commentating, after she became the first women to lead the commentary of a men's cricket game last year.

Read more: Cricket commentary will no longer be a job reserved for the boys

But Swannell hopes to make her mark in sport commentating based on her skills, rather than her gender.

"I always find that whole first female thing a little bit strange, I don't set out to be the first woman to do this or that and I hoped I earned the chance because I'm a good commentator, not because I'm a good female commentator," she told the Herald.

Robinson said Swannell's selection was based on her functional and successful skillset from experience in calling sports such as netball, tennis, cricket and rugby.

"We're pleased to have someone that's so versatile, and it's another fantastic step in her career," said Robinson.

Swannell said she looked forward to working alongside Nisbett, Johnson and Stevenson and hopes she will be able to learn from them in the career opportunity.

"I know a great deal will be on me for being a woman but really I'm just another new person who's trying to have a crack just like these guys did in the past and learn from them."

Read more: Cricket: Women answer call to commentating

"It's a huge opportunity to be given a chance like this, it's something that a lot of people would give their right leg to do and I'm just one person in this commentary team," she said.

Sport reporting and commentating had been previously criticised for lacking in gender diversity and Swannell said Sky have set a good example.

Read more: Sky the limit for female commentators

"It's not just a Sky issue and I think that Sky are being great in how they're dealing with it and they've really been going on the front foot and hopefully setting a standard for other people too to start following."

Swannell's first scheduled match will be the Crusaders vs Waratahs on the 12th of May at AMI stadium in Christchurch.