Tasman's latest rugby international, Jess Drummond, returns from sevens heaven

The Black Ferns arrive back at Auckland International Airport as World Sevens Series champions.
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The Black Ferns arrive back at Auckland International Airport as World Sevens Series champions.

It's back to work, and back to netball, for Black Ferns sevens player Jess Drummond.

Just hours after touching down in New Zealand with the World Sevens Series winning squad, Drummond was rushing back to Richmond School, where she works fulltime, to watch her students perform in their production.

On Thursday night she was playing premier grade netball and on Saturday she will be lacing up her boots in the club rugby scene. So you could say it's back to reality after a whirlwind two months representing the triumphant Black Ferns.

Jess Drummond featured for the Black Ferns in the final two legs of the Worlds Sevens Series circuit.
VIRGINIA WOOLF

Jess Drummond featured for the Black Ferns in the final two legs of the Worlds Sevens Series circuit.

Drummond ticked off a long-term target by making her debut in Canada and she featured again in France just a few weeks later. The Black Ferns won both of those tournaments, wrapping up the World Sevens Series for another year.

"It was unreal just to make my debut and then to be part of the winning teams without the key players, it showed it wasn't a fluke and the culture is just unstoppable," Drummond said.

She said the World Sevens Series was a "massive step up" from playing domestically in New Zealand, her nine minutes against a strong United States side the biggest eye opener.

"For me that was probably the highlight; getting on for those nine minutes and performing at a level I've never performed at. I knew I had to step up both mentally and physically.

"In the ruck area everyone is hungry and goes for it, you can't be afraid otherwise you'll get smashed so you have to go in physical and strong."

Drummond said the experience of playing at the final two tournaments has made her hungrier than ever to push for a fulltime contract next year, and clearly it's within reach.

"I always looked up to those girls thinking 'oh man I'm never going to get there' but I just kept training and worked my butt off and obviously I went to Dubai as a travelling reserve, but I never thought I'd get to go again," she said.

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"I want a contract next year and nationals is where I've got to prove myself. Having been a part of it now, I know I can do it, and I've got the physicality, strength and mindset to do it so I'm pretty determined."

 - Stuff

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