One of a rare breed that grew up on Great Barrier Island, 27 year old Eloise Blackwell has, since her 2011 debut for New Zealand, stepped almost seamlessly into the big locking shoes of great Black Ferns such as Vicky Heighway and Monalisa Codling.
Blackwell has been a mainstay of the Auckland Storm since 2009, and now has 10 tries in 45 games for that province (she will possibly raise the half century in the 2018 Farah Palmer Cup), and has developed into a top international player, strong in contact, mobile around the field and accurate in the air, be it for kickoffs or lineouts.
Blackwell had a great 2017 season for the Black Ferns, starting seven of her eight Tests and striking up a formidable locking combinations with both Charmaine Smith and Becky Wood. Away from rugby, Blackwell is studying a Bachelor of Physical Education.
2011 v England
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