As a leader, Les Elder has plenty of inspiration to draw from.

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is one of them, as are her own past captains and her rugby mentors that she works with in her role as the women's player development manager at Bay of Plenty Rugby.

But for the 32-year-old Bay of Plenty specialist No7, who made her Black Ferns debut in 2015, it's a woman named Maxine Ketu who has probably had the biggest impact.

Elder, who was this week named the new captain of the Black Ferns squad, describes Ketu - a woman she