Rugby: Sporting prodigy Marcelle Parkes set to make mark for Black Ferns

Parkes has been playing rugby less than a year.
Parkes has been playing rugby less than a year. Photo credit: Newshub.

Newly-contracted Black Fern Marcelle Parkes has been playing rugby less than a year, but she's already making giant strides.

The 20-year-old was named as one of 28 contracted players on Wednesday, and if it wasn't rugby, her national representation could've come through several sports.

"It was the most surreal feeling, I wasn't expecting it at all," she told Newshub of her international call-up.

"It's my first year playing rugby this year and it was all a bit of a shock."

But despite a lack of time in the sport, she's had no trouble adjusting.

"Gaining skills in other sports really helped me throughout my years of growing up in college. I played as many sports as I could, I loved it."

And she didn't just play them, she excelled at them.

A New Zealand representative in both netball and softball, rugby was understandably the furthest thing from Parkes' mind growing up.

"Netball was my main sport, and one of my best mates just decided to ask me to come and run around at sevens," said Parkes.

"From then on, I just played sevens in the summer to keep me fit."

She was then picked up by the Wellington sevens team earlier this year, and then chosen for New Zealand's devlopment camps.

Her early success in the sport wasn't a comfortable ride.

"Learning rugby was really scary for me at the start, but now I just completely love it and being around the girls is great.

It's a steep learning curve, the Marist St. Pats midfielder getting to know the game back to front

"I'm playing out of position for the club. They've actually selected me as a forward for the Black Ferns

At just 20, and yet to make her Black Ferns debut, Parkes is by no means the finished product.

With no guarantees her Black Ferns contract will earn her a spot in Glen Moore's squad, the hard work starts right here.