'They're truly deserving' – America's Cup hero Joseph Sullivan backs Black Ferns for Halberg Awards success

America's Cup winning cyclor Joseph Sullivan has praised the World Champion Black Ferns, with his Team New Zealand to face off with the women's rugby stars for the team of the year prize at tonight's Halberg Awards in Auckland.

The Black Ferns have been nominated for the team of the year award, while Portia Woodman and Sarah Goss are both up in the sportswoman category.

Speaking to 1 NEWS on the awards red carpet today, Sullivan praised the Black Ferns, after their thrilling Women's World Cup performance late last year.

"The Black Ferns have put in a massive effort, and they're truly deserving of the award," Sullivan said.

"It's a hard one to pick."

"I wouldn't want to be a judge tonight."

NZ's womens rugby team are up against the sailors for team of the year tonight. Source: 1 NEWS