If you did a headcount at the Black Ferns’ Captain’s Run today, you'd notice there was one player missing.
Georgia Ponsonby, who'll be the reserve hooker against Japan tomorrow, was given an exemption to leave camp by the management group for today to head to Christchurch for a very special ceremony – her graduation from Lincoln University.
“You know, four years at university is a long time and effort and it means a lot with all my friends and family here to see me graduate,” Ponsonby told 1News.
“[Coach Wayne] Smith and all the coaching staff were really supportive of me being here, didn't even give it a second thought.
“You only get to graduate once and they really told me I needed to be here which was awesome.”
The 22-year-old graduated with a Bachelor of Land and Property Management degree, getting to walk around the Garden City’s CBD to celebrate with her fellow graduates.
As she did, parents Stephen and Rachel were there to celebrate.
“Super, super proud,” her mum said.
“I still can't believe it sometimes - we have to pinch ourselves.”
Ponsonby will now swap one cap for the other though as she prepares for a Rugby World Cup campaign on home soil after tomorrow’s Test at a sold-out Eden Park.