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Stars made younger players feel at home

Rugby prospect Renee Holmes says it was “unreal” rubbing shoulders with the likes of Portia Woodman, one of the sport's stars, at a sevens camp.

Holmes, 20, from Gisborne, was one of three women selected in November from an Ignite7 event of emerging players for the recent national development camp at Mount Maunganui.

Spending time with players contracted to New Zealand Rugby during the four-day camp was invaluable, she said.

They made the younger players feel at home.

Holmes was skipper of a New Zealand development side in matches against a French development team and she enjoyed that responsibility.

“There was a lot to take in at the camp in a short amount of time,” she said.

Holmes is based in Hamilton and played for the Waikato women's 15 side in the Farah Palmer Cup last year.

She played for the Hokkaido Barbarians in a sevens series in Japan during the 2019 New Zealand autumn and plans to return to the same side this year.

DEVELOPING HER GAME: Renee Holmes (right), pictured with her younger brother Kauri Holmes, has continued her progress in rugby sevens, captaining a New Zealand development team. Picture supplied