IN THE SPACE of just over two years, Charmaine Smith went from rugby rookie to Women’s Rugby World Cup winner.
The rise has been exponential, making Smith one of the success stories of the Black Ferns and women’s rugby development in general.
Originally from a netball background and having also represented North Harbour in sevens, she was promoted to the Black Ferns and appeared in all three Tests of the 2015 Women’s Super Series in Canada after just five games of club rugby for East Coast Bays.
A good lineout exponent and very mobile, Smith is equally at home operating at lock or on the blindside and has struck up a strong second-row combination with the seasoned Eloise Blackwell.
She started in all eight Tests for the Black Ferns in 2017, six of them at lock, and had the distinction of scoring a try in the Women’s Rugby World Cup final against England. She has also made eight appearances for the North Harbour Hibiscus from 2016-17 in the Farah Palmer Cup.
Smith was a regular feature once again in 2018, appearing in the second row for all of the Black Ferns five Tests that year.
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