Patea-Fereti gets reward for hard work

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Lynn McConnell     15 Aug 2018     Getty Images

First selected for the Black Ferns in 2012, the lineout exponent has played 12 Tests since. Having missed selection in 2015 she was called into the Black Ferns squad as an injury replacement on their northern tour in 2016 and had her sights set on pushing for a place in last year's World Cup side.
However, a decision to play Sevens at the start of the year had unintended consequences for her aspirations.

She was injured during the pre-season Sevens tournament in Mt Maunganui but it was three months before it was discovered she had suffered a slipped disc which was sitting on a nerve.

That put her out of action for six months. She pushed her recovery and tried to prepare to play in the trials for the World Cup selection but fractured her leg and was out of action for another 12 weeks meaning her World Cup chance was gone.

Building on the motivation her father had given her to take every opportunity that came along, once she recovered she adjusted her focus in training to the point where instead of going through the motions, she put in extra hard work and to put everything into it.

As a result of her changed approach to training she felt she was stronger and much fitter. But at the same time she was philosophical about her prospects.

"I just thought if I don't make it then it just means my time's up and I will be happy with that.

"Then I got the call so it was pretty cool," she said.

'The call' was from Black Ferns assistant coach Wesley Clarke Getting the phone call to say she had been selected again for the Black Ferns left her speechless and teary-eyed and it had been a special moment, she said.

She was still feeling her way in the team environment because things had changed from when she was first selected. New plays had come in and things had gone faster in the tactical options that had been developed.

She was working hard on one-percent things, including her lineout jumps, and was keen to be selected to play in Sydney but if she wasn't it would be back to working hard for her future.