Kelly Brazier's love of rugby began as the "funny one" - the only girl in a team of 40-odd boys.
"I was pretty gutted because my brother could play and I was sort of like ... well what can I do?"
Fast-forward a couple of decades, and the 28-year-old is a stalwart of the New Zealand women's rugby teams flying high on top of the world.
The Bay of Plenty local became a four-time world champion last weekend as part of the Black Ferns Sevens' historic back-to-back World Cup win in San Francisco, with those two triumphs going alongside Brazier's two world titles with the Black Ferns in the 15-a-side game in 2010 and 2017.
A 37-test utility back for the Black Ferns and a mainstay in our national women's sevens squad since 2013, Brazier has no doubt the women's game in New Zealand is thriving.
"I think it's definitely growing and it's pretty cool to see on the back of both the Black Ferns and Black Ferns Sevens success.
"It's pretty cool to turn up where I live in Bay of Plenty and there's like four or five girls' rugby teams, there's under-15, under-16 and under-17 sort of thing so it's pretty cool for us girls to look back and see that we're paving the way for future generations coming through," Brazier said.
After all her successes in rugby, she believes the most recent World Cup Sevens victory is arguably the most special, due to the increasing competitiveness offered from nations around the world.
"It's definitely up there, especially in the sevens game and especially in this [World Cup knockout] format anyone can beat anyone on the day.
"Looking back to 2013 there was probably only a handful of teams, but [this time] there were 16 teams that could have won it, so in that sense it makes it pretty special that we knew it was a one-off tournament, a knock-out, and to deliver every game we're very proud".
Despite her huge work rate and endless numbers of try assists, key tackles and turnovers, Brazier's often flown under the radar in the sevens scene as tryscoring superstars like Portia Woodman, Tyla Nathan-Wong and Michaela Blyde understandably garner much of the team's attention.
However, no Kiwi watching this year's Commonwealth Games gold medal match against Australia will forget the moment when Brazier stormed most of the length of the field in extra time to touch down for the tournament-winning try.
"I think it's just everyone's real. We genuinely love each other and genuinely are family. We train day in, day out," Brazier said.
"It'll be 5pm at home on the weekend and you'd think people would think we hang out with our other mates, but then you get a message from one of the girls in the team and they want to hang out with you again.
"So I think it's just we genuinely like each other, we get along and I think what happens off the field it shows the connections on the field".
Black Ferns Sevens coach Allan Bunting was also fast to pay tribute to Brazier after the win in San Francisco.
"She's amazing. She plays every single minute of every tournament pretty much.
"She's in the middle, she ties everything together, she defends and she's got a massive work rate.
"[Brazier] makes all our plays and makes most of our attacking calls so is a huge part of it."