Keri Hayden's rise from rugby rookie to national representative was one of the most rapid in the modern game.
Hayden was a netballer and former athletics star, who hadn't played rugby before when Manawatu Coach Wesley Clarke invited her into his women's sevens squad for the Central Regional Qualifier. A soldier at Linton, her size and speed were well-suited to the shorter form of the game. In 2015 she signed up to play fifteens with the Kia Toa club. Her partner is Manawatu Turbos wing and fellow soldier Hamiora Thomas.