Find out more about a leading figure in the Black Ferns set-up. By Nick Heath

Who is Eloise Blackwell: Ten things you should know about the New Zealand lock

Second-row Eloise Blackwell is one of the most experienced players in the New Zealand set-up and is part of the Black Ferns leadership group.

Ten things you should know about Eloise Blackwell

1. Eloise Blackwell was born on 28 December 1990.

2. She is originally from Great Barrier Island (Aotea), which has a population of about 800, and her family still lives there.

Her parents “lost everything” in a house fire in September 2021 and Eloise set up a donation page to support them, which has raised over $73,000.

3. Standing at 5ft 11in or 1.81m tall, Blackwell unsurprisingly plays in the second row.

She has played for Auckland Storm since 2009 and also took to the field for the Blues against the Chiefs in the first women’s Super Rugby match at Eden Park in 2021.

4. Her New Zealand debut came in 2011 against England at Twickenham.

5. A scroll through her Instagram shows that Blackwell enjoys fishing and hunting.

6. After becoming a world champion at the 2017 Rugby World Cup, Blackwell had ten days to get home and back to life as a secondary school PE teacher at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School in Auckland.

7. She lives with fellow Black Ferns team-mate Aleisha-Pearl Nelson and two other rugby friends.

8. Blackwell is a vice-captain of the Black Ferns. She stood in as captain in 2020 after Les Elder took time out to have a baby.

9. She is proud of having perfected her ‘afghans’ recipe during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown. An afghan is a traditional New Zealand biscuit.

10. She has won more than 40 caps and scored double-figure tries for her country.

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