Liz Holland admits to somewhat divided loyalties when watching the All Blacks play the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup semi-final. The Wallabies were, after all, wearing Canterbury clothing that she had helped to design.
"Let's just say I'm still a New Zealander," she jokes.
Liz completed an Honours degree and Master's in Clothing and Textile Sciences at the University of Otago before working as a researcher at the University's Clothing and Textiles Centre throughout the 1990s. This experience saw her headhunted by Canterbury in 2002.
"Canterbury lacked someone skilled in textiles," she explains, "and with new fabric technologies and innovations becoming more and more important in the sportswear market, they decided they needed someone with my skills."
Her previous experience testing cooling fabrics for athletes proved particularly useful when she began working on the Australian, Scottish, Fijian and Irish jerseys for the Rugby World Cup.
"We were delighted with the end product we came up with. It was strong, light and cool, which is ideal really. Plus it looked and performed like a rugby jersey should - we got through the whole competition without one jersey ripping!"
However, she admits that her work has raised ethical issues, even apart from her allegiances during the Cup itself.
"We blind-tested the Australian jerseys on the Kaiapoi seniors rugby team here in Christchurch. When they initially found out what it was for, some of the players were just gutted. They were relieved when they found out the trial would also benefit some of their favourite NPC teams!"