20 Nov 2023

Niall Williams-Guthrie joins Blues for 2024

11:27 am on 20 November 2023
Niall Guthrie of the Black Ferns Sevens playing against Papua New Guinea at the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton 2023.

Niall Guthrie of the Black Ferns Sevens playing against Papua New Guinea at the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton 2023. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Former Black Ferns Sevens representative, Niall Williams-Guthrie, is bringing her talents to the Blues as part of the 30-player squad for the upcoming Super Rugby Aupiki season.

Williams-Guthrie, had a decorated career with the Black Ferns Sevens and comes fresh off an NRLW season with the Gold Coast Titans.

She said the opportunity to test herself in a different environment, in a city she loves was too good to miss.

"Anyone that knows me, knows I'm a massive fan of this city and the Blues region. I'm an Aucklander and I can't wait to represent this place with pride and passion," said Williams-Guthrie.

"I haven't played a lot of 15s but I'm here to learn and give where I can. I'm not trying to come in and be the next big thing, but I think I can offer some experience and perspectives from my time with the Sevens. I've taken on the Muma Bear role in recent years, although I prefer big sis - surely I can still get away with that?!"

The family connection to the Blues runs deep for Williams-Guthrie, her brother Sonny Bill was Blues player #265 in 2017-2019.

"Sonny jokes around saying I'm trying to copy him and follow him round! But in all seriousness, he's been a pioneer in putting himself in uncomfortable positions and testing himself. I admire him for that and I've tried to do the same - when it's uncomfortable it often leads to something rewarding and exciting."

Blues Head Coach, Willie Walker said having someone of Williams-Guthrie's experience will be invaluable for those younger members of the squad.

"Niall's had a long and successful career in rugby, so having her as part of our nib Blues setup is going to be hugely beneficial, not only on the park but also as an example to the younger players and showing them what professionalism looks like day-to-day."

Williams-Guthrie said she was looking forward to working with the coaching staff and knows she'll have to "play it cool" when she heads into camp.

"The personnel they have on board for this campaign is crazy, both players and management, there's so much talent!"

"I do remember one moment from back in the day when Carlos came to my school, Avondale College, when he was with the All Blacks. They were heading to get on the bus and I sprinted over, ripped a sheet of my refill pad and shoved it through the fence which he graciously signed for me!"

"I loved his flair and swagger back in the day for the Blues, he epitomised what the club pride itself on and I'm looking forward to working with Carlos, Willie and the rest of the coaching group."