SkyTV has signed super-sportswoman Honey Hireme to a contract, which is sure to see her become as successful at commentating about the pitch, as she has been playing on it.
The 38-year-old mother of one is nearing the end of her sporting career and is pumped about the opportunities her new job will bring.
"It's an unexpected opportunity which I am grateful for," she told Spy. "It opens up a pathway for me to stay involved with the sports that I love as I draw nearer to retiring. I see it as a way in which I can draw on my experiences as a player to entertain New Zealanders, and hopefully inspire other female athletes to look at their career paths once they hang up the boots."
Nicknamed Honey Bill Williams, she has more than lived up to her male counterpart Sonny. Hireme is a current Kiwi Fern, Black Fern and plays for the Dragons in the NRL Women's Premiership. She has also made appearances at four Rugby League World Cups, one Rugby World Cup, one Rugby Sevens' World Cup, and has played on the IRB World Sevens' Series.
She says getting off the pitch and behind a microphone has been nerve-racking. "I initially did some Sevens' commentary, which was a great introduction. One month into the role I still have a lot of nerves, but as I grow in confidence those nerves start to turn into excitement and the more practice I get across the rugby and league codes the better I get. Similar to being an athlete, practice makes progress."
Hireme says she has learned a lot from her first month being involved in three Warriors' build-up shows.
"It makes me look at the game from a different perspective, as a presenter/commentator and learning to explain what is going on and giving the audience more of an understanding of the game and players versus being on the field as a player. I'm just in that moment, analysing my own game and what my next job is."
She will be giving the league build-up a break this week as she has her own game to captain on Saturday, with New Zealand playing Samoa. She juggles it with great whānau support.
"My partner, my parents and extended whānau continue to back me 100 per cent in whatever pathway I choose, they critique me (the same way they do when I'm playing rugby or league) and they keep me grounded."