Commonwealth Games: NZ wrestler Michelle Montague taking rugby learnings to the Gold Coast

From rugby union to wrestling, there’s not much Michelle Montague hasn’t done.

Today the 24-year-old was named as part of New Zealand’s seven-strong wrestling team to compete at April’s Commonwealth Games.

The Waikato women's rugby representative only picked up the sport three years ago after catching the attention of national coach Peter-Pouri Lane while she was training at an MMA gym in Hamilton.

"I remember Pete back then said 'train, go to nationals, win Oceanias' and then he actually said 'Commonwealth Games'," recalls Montague.

She's since quickly risen up the ranks, winning four gold medals at the New Zealand Grappling Nationals after taking out the Oceania Championships in Tahiti last year.

Of course, it helps when you have the sport in your blood.

"We grew up on a farm with mum and dad milking cows and I would be in there like wrestling with the calves or riding them."

Montague now juggles her newfound wrestling career alongside the demands of rugby. The combative loose-forward has been playing since she was four-years-old and has become an integral part of the Waikato side, and the cross-benefits between the two disciplines

 "The wrestling makes me better in contact and stronger in contact, and then all of the rugby and conditioning makes me a fitter athlete and physical stronger."

Although her wrestling dream came true when she booked her ticket to the Gold Coast, she still has aspirations of making it to the top in her other chosen sport.

"A goal since I was about four-years-old was to be a Black Fern, and that still hasn’t died either."

Montague will compete in the women’s 68kg category and is joined by four other rookies in Toby Fitzpatrick, Ana Moceyawa, Akash Khullar and Brahm Richards.