Portia Woodman gives back to hometown club, targets Olympics on road to recovery

As part of her long recovery back to playing rugby again, Black Ferns and New Zealand sevens star Portia Woodman has given back to her hometown of Kaikohe.

Woodman, 29, has spent the better part of the last two years on the sidelines, battling an Achilles injury.

Now recovered enough to play the game she loves once again, Woodman last week turned out for her club Kaikohe, and intends to represent Northland in the Farah Palmer Cup.

The chance to give back to her hometown and her province certainly isn't lost on Woodman, arguably one of the best players to have graced the women's game.

"It's the whole world right?" Woodman told 1 NEWS.

"For me when I go and represent New Zealand on the world stage, or at a world tournament, I'm representing New Zealand, being Māori, Kaikohe and my whānau.

"So to be back here, I love it.

"I hope young girls, young boys, kids from here understand that they are from a small town, but we can make big things happen for us."

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Woodman's influence isn't lost on the local community either. Former Black Fern turned Northland coach Cheryl Smith stating Woodman's significance in her hometown.

"Everyone in the community, they all know Portia," Smith said.

"Every superstar needs to come home, and I suppose - what's the word - ground yourself and get ready to see what the next chapter means."

That next chapter for Woodman could just be on the biggest stage of all, her sights firmly locked on the re-organised Tokyo Olympics.

Woodman and her sevens sisters are targeting an elusive first Olympic gold medal, having fallen short in Rio de Janeiro four years ago.

"I've got unfinished business that I want to get done.

"The next Olympics is in 2024. I'd be 32.

"I've gotta try fit some babies in there somehow and like y'know it's difficult being a female athlete."