Renee Holmes travelled a long way to get to where she is with the Black Ferns – often with her dad, Laurie, behind the wheel of a car. First there were the 11-hour road trips from Gisborne to Palmerston North and back in the same night as she pursued a football career as a schoolgirl. Then, once she swapped the round ball for rugby’s oval ball, it was Gisborne to Hastings, which was a relative breeze at seven hours there and back. These days the 22-year-old fullback calls Hamilton home and plays for Waikato at provincial level, so her travel requirements aren’t as arduous as they once were. But she’s still willing to go to great lengths to improve herself as a rugby player – such as when Matatū came calling ahead of Super Rugby Aupiki earlier this year and she made a brief move south to Christchurch. Click the link to read more.