This time a couple of years back sevens remained very much a male-dominated domain and the thought of a Southland women's team was a small dot a long way in the distance.
However, with the shortened rugby format being given the green light for the Olympics in 2016, the NZRU and Sport New Zealand quickly made women's sevens a priority.
All of a sudden the door has been opened as wide as ever for women's sevens and that has stretched right down to Southland.
Earlier this year a national provincial women's sevens tournament was played a longside the long-standing men's competition in Queenstown.
Southland had assembled a team mainly made up of schoolgirl players from the 15-a-side format but they failed to get past the South Island qualifying stage in Timaru and in turn on to Queenstown.
Twelve months on and the Southland women's team has passed the qualifying stage in Timaru and will for the first time take part in the nationals to be held in Rotorua on January 11 and 12.
Coaches Andrew Rowland and Mal Dermody have this year gone about building on that start in 2012 - although it's a task that is easier said than done considering Southland doesn't even have a senior women's 15s rugby competition to help identify potential players.
The coaching combo has had to cast the net much wider to put together a team that could progress to the nationals this year and they have been pleased with their catch.
It seems sevens has quickly gained some interest in the female ranks in Southland with many prospects without a rugby background now putting up their hands to play.
They include touch and netball players making the transition, among them is former ANZ Championship netballer Hayley Crofts.
Rowland said the blossoming interest in women's sevens was exciting to be part of.
"I don't think a lot of people imagined how fast sevens would grow and how big it would become, not even Rugby Southland. I think the scope of where this can go to is endless really."
Rowland said the 15s format didn't appeal all that much to a lot of the girls but sevens was something that attracted them.
"I think there's perhaps a little bit less physicality than you get in the 15s and it's become very attractive to potential players.
"If they were keen on 15s they probably would have already been playing. The fact that some of these girls are picking up sevens at age 24 or 25 says to me there is an attraction to sevens that there is not with 15s, otherwise they would already be playing rugby."
The high level of interest does however provide a welcomed headache for Rowland and Dermody who have a squad of 17 dedicated players that must be trimmed down to 12 for the national tournament.
"It's the hardest part of a coach's job I guess, is that some of those girls who have put in huge effort training right over the campaign are unfortunately going to miss out."
Many of those netball and touch players who have jumped onto the sevens bandwagon have the required skills and good spatial awareness which is paramount in good sevens players.
But for Rowland and Dermody it hasn't been a matter of putting the team together, throwing them a ball and letting them play.
Given a lot of the group haven't come from a rugby background it has been a gradual process and a lot of hard work.
"The first time they try and make a tackle, that's a big thing for them to do," Rowland said.
Rowland said while they were starting a programme from almost scratch, those players who had chosen to take on the challenge had made it that bit easier as a result of their work ethic.
"There are no egos, they don't think they are All Blacks and they don't think they know it all," Rowland said.
"They are sponges and they listen to everything you tell them. They ask questions and they are such a pleasure to coach."
One of the other key figures helping to prepare them for the nationals next month is fitness trainer Jarred Cappie.
Cappie has worked them hard and Rowland said the way the girls responded again highlighted what a credit they are to themselves and their province.
With the budget not stretching far enough to get Cappie to Rotorua for the nationals, the women's squad made and sold 324 dozen truffles to raise funds to help get him to Rotorua after all.
"Potentially if you asked a boys' team to do that, I'm not sure if you would get the same positive response," Rowland said.
While it is a been a bumpy but enjoyable ride for the group just to be in a position to play at this year's nationals in Rotorua, the real challenge is still to come, going head to head with the country's best.
To put it into prospective for Southland, it is a 10-team national tournament and Southland is ranked 10th.
"We go to nationals honestly with very little expectations on ourselves, we're ranked 10 out of 10 teams, but what is most exciting is this group that we've got together are already talking about next year. This is the beginning of a very exciting journey."
While success at the nationals at some stage would be the pinnacle, Rowland said just as big for the Southland women's sevens programme would be to one day have a Southlander claim an Olympic medal.
"I have to say that I truly believe that is a realistic expectation. When we set out and did some planning, one of our goals was to get one of the players recognised at a national level, whether it be by the end of this season or by the end of next season. It would actually be a dream come true as a coach to see somebody do that."
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