Black Ferns player Kendra Cocksedge has made history by becoming the first woman to receive the top honour at the annual national rugby awards at Auckland's Sky City.
Cocksedge, a halfback who represents Farah Palmer Cup champions Canterbury, was named the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial player of the year. She beat out All Blacks Richie Mo'unga, Brodie Retallick and Codie Taylor.
Kendra Cocksedge told Mike Hosking it's been a huge year for women's sport.
"It's been growing a lot and we are getting a lot more exposure and I mean with the Black Fern Sevens performing on the world stage as well. It's been a big year and the last couple of years have been really big for the game so looking forward to what the future brings."
She said there is a huge amount of support from the community.
"The majority of people are on board, you get the odd one that's not there yet but we are making ground and we are getting there and that's what's cool about the game."
"We've come a long way but, obviously, heading into the future some sort of semi-pro competition would be great for the game and obviously getting more sponsors on board. Getting more exposure, more bums on seats during games and hopefully, that happens now we've got that World Cup hosting in 2021."
"It puts women's rugby on the national stage," Cocksedge said of winning the award.
"I'm hoping there's a young me out there watching and hoping to aspire to win an award like this in the future.
"It's cool for me to be able to be the person to do it and hopefully give back and give a young girl the opportunity to live the dream that I get to live."
Cocksedge was just the second woman to be nominated for the overall player of the year award; after Sevens captain Sarah Goss was named a finalist in 2017.
"It started off last year with Sarah being nominated and now myself winning it this year, it's a stepping stone and I'm pretty proud to be a part of that and to keep paving the way for the women's game in New Zealand."
The women's sevens team were crowned New Zealand team of the year - their first time winning the honour after twin triumphs at the Commonwealth Games and at the Rugby World Cup sevens.