15 Jan 2019

From lows to highs for young rugby star

5:30 pm on 15 January 2019

In the last three months the young Waikato rugby player Jazmin Hotham has gone through a range of emotions, from the lows of injuries to the highs of national selection.

Waikato's Jazmin Hotham during the 2018 National Sevens Tournament.


The 18 year old was today confirmed in the New Zealand Women's Rugby Sevens squad for 2019.

Hotham is one of three teenagers that have been named in the 21-player Black Ferns Sevens squad, the others are Montessa Tairakena of Waikato and Mahina Paul of Bay of Plenty.

In September Hotham dislocated her shoulder, ruling her out of the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, but it wasn't long after that that she had that shoulder tapped by the national selectors.

"Getting the phone call was the best news I'd got in a couple of months."

"My family was definitely excited, when I did my shoulder they were my rocks and saw me go through a pretty dark time, but them seeing me live my dream job they're so incredibly proud and happy, but going home I still have to cook dinner and do the dishes, so some things never change.

Sarah Goss leads Black Ferns Sevens haka.


Hotham says making the national side is something she's dreamt of for a while.

"When I was in year nine (at Hamilton Girls) a couple of year 13 girls Terina Te Tamaki and Tenika Willison, a couple of years after they left school they got Black Ferns contract and just seeing them able to do that made me think if they can do that why can't I."

Hotham, whose father Nigel is a coach in Hamilton, has started flatting with sevens star Kelly Brazier.

"It's been a lot of new learning's (flatting with Kelly), having to do my own grocery shopping, learning how to work the dishwasher and washing machine, but Kelly's been amazing help, kind of been a mum to me, helping teach me all the ways, but I've definitely settled in and it's made life a lot easier."

However Hotham says she's still coming to terms with mixing with the stars of the game like captain Sarah Hirini (nee Goss), Tyla Nathan Wong, Michaela Blyde and Portia Woodman.

"It's really still unbelievable, I still haven't come to grips with it, just watching them on tv and then being able to sit across from them at lunch and just talk normally, it's a crazy feeling as well as training along side them, it's probably the first time I've appreciated being tackle by the likes of Niall Williams."

Black Ferns Sevens


The youngster is a first five or centre.

"I thought I had pace until I came here (the Mt Maunganui High Performance Sevens Centre) and get gassed by Portia and Michaela."

There was more good news for Hotham today as she found out she'd passed her NCEA exams.

Her shoulder injury means she won't be considered for the remaining World Series tournaments this season.