Renee Holmes' star-struck moment meeting surprise 'roomie' - a Black Ferns rugby great

By Te Ao Toa

Gold medal-winning Stacey Fluhler (Ngāi Tūhoe) is ready to travel again with the Black Ferns to play England and France.  

She spoke to Black Ferns newcomer and Gisborne local, Renee Holmes (Ngāti Porou), who is still star-struck by Portia Woodman and veteran Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate.

"Honestly, coming into the camp, getting the call, it still feels really unreal," Holmes said of her excitement about getting the call up for the northern tour. "I still can't believe it but I have to."

Holmes admits she has not known how to react meeting some of the legends of the game. 

"I was actually a bit nervous coming into camp," she said. "I'm not sure about being roomed with a sevens girl. It's just that, I don't know, we've been together all year us fifteens girls.

"And then, of course, I got roomed with Portia Woodman, like the biggest name in rugby," she laughs. 

"And I didn't know how to keep it [the excitement] in. 

“She was like, 'Hi, roomie' - and I was like [in a high pitched voice] 'Hi'," said Holmes, as she breaks into hysterics with Fluhler.

Holmes has already represented nationally in three sports – frisbee, football and taekwondo – and has designs on a fourth, the All Blacks.com website says.

"Honestly, when my name came up on the TV next to all of you guys, I was honestly like, 'What the heck?', because it’s real."

“I just started crying," said Holmes, who describes herself as a 'Harti Nāti' and proud 'Gizzy' girl.