Black Ferns star Selica Winiata to make history by returning to sevens circuit - as a referee

Black Ferns fullback Selica Winiata will return to the sevens circuit in a few weeks’ time, this time as a referee.

That’s despite the 40-test veteran already juggling her day job with the police, some TV pundit work, as well as looking after two young nephews.

In only a matter of weeks Winiata has gone from taking charge of schools’ rugby to getting her shot on the international stage.

"Things have happened quite quickly, quicker than I thought,” Winiata said.

"I reffed two high school tournaments back at home, and then had the opportunity to go over to the Oceania tournament in Fiji"

Her performance there was enough to warrant a call up for the Dubai and Cape Town leg of the World Series all while still juggling her Black Ferns duties, and work as a police officer.

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The diminutive fullback bench presses 80kg, according to her teammate Chelsea Alley. Source: 1 NEWS

"If it doesn't work, then something will have to give," Winiata said.

“My main priority is to make the World Cup team in two years’ time but at the same time I'm willing to take my opportunity to be on the World Series"

The recent Oceania sevens tournament was a valuable exercise to build experience and confidence

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The mercurial All Black recounted the story of coming off second best to Selica Winiata during a training session. Source: 1 NEWS

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The Black Ferns star said his teammates "gave him a bit of stick" afterwards. Source: 1 NEWS

"Making sure I was running ref lines and not player lines. Nothing worse than a ref getting in the way."

"I was told that I can actually afford to slow down and let the players run off and score tries."

She's likely to become the first elite referee in the world to still be an active player at the highest level, but she - and World Rugby – are not worried about any potential conflict of interest.