She’s a try-scoring machine and one of the biggest names in women’s rugby. Nick Heath reports
Who is Portia Woodman: Ten things you should know about the New Zealand wing
Portia Woodman is known for her try-scoring feats in both sevens and 15s.
Ten things you should know about Portia Woodman
1. Portia Woodman was born on 12 July 1991 in Kawakawa, north of Whangarei on New Zealand’s north island.
2. Woodman comes from a family with great sporting pedigree. Her father Kawhena and uncle Fred are both former All Blacks and her aunt Te Aroha is a former netballer with the Silver Ferns.
3. When she was little, Woodman dreamt of becoming an Olympic sprinter.
4. Having switched to sevens from netball aged 21, she played five tournaments before becoming top scorer at the 2013 Sevens World Cup. She scored 12 tries to help New Zealand take home the trophy.
5. Her international debut in XVs came at Eden Park in 2013 in the 1,000th Test match of women’s rugby. She started on the wing against England and scored a try in the Black Ferns’ first win against their old foe in seven matches.
6. Woodman has won three Rugby World Cup titles – two in Sevens (2013, 2018) and one in XVs (2017); a Commonwealth gold medal from 2018 as well as an Olympic sevens silver medal from 2016 and a gold medal from Tokyo in 2021.
At RWC 2017 she scored eight tries against Hong Kong!
7. She was named Māori Sportswoman of the Year in 2017 and won the Award for Sport at the 2018 Māori TV Matariki Awards.
8. She has a daughter, Kaia, with partner Renee Wickliffe, who is also a top New Zealand international rugby player.
9. She is known by her team-mates as being game to try anything once, particularly food. She will even joke that some extreme delicacies taste nice, just to see her team-mates join in and fall foul of something unpleasant.
10. Her selection for the Black Ferns tour of England and France in the autumn of 2021 was her first involvement in international 15s for four years.
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