After eight years and 46 caps as a flanker, Nicholas whose rugby career and World Cup dream ended early with a knee injury against South Africa, has been representing the Tasman team at inside centre.
"When I went training I was still in the recovery phase and hadn't done any running, changing direction, or taken any contact," she recalls from her base in Nelson. "So I trained with the backs to get working on running angles, and then developed from there. Before I knew it I was playing the first game at centre.
"I've really enjoyed it and have developed new skills and I now have a better understanding of the game, and can relate to the backs frustrations... bloody forwards hoggin the ball!"
Nicholas's achievements have also been recognised with the Nelson Weekly claiming that Sally Archibald and Nicholas have formed an excellent partnership in the five-eights position which has attributed to the team's success.
Having retired from rugby after the World Cup, Hallett just wanted to have some fun playing and enjoying the social and casual side of club rugby.
"I needed a rest and thought that would be it, over the years you get lots of niggles just building up and carrying over from one season to the next, but by the time we got here via the US, Hawaii and Fiji I felt quite rested and refreshed. I wasn't quite sure whether I wanted to play or not, but it only took one training session and I was 'back in the game', I really enjoyed it and could'nt wait for the first match."
The Welsh duo have been an integral part of Stoke Women's successful season, topping the league comfortably and securing a home final against local rivals Waimea, last year's champions.
"It's been great playing New Zealand rugby and experiencing how they play week in week out, it's similar to our club rugby but the game is faster, wider and harder hitting," said Nicholas, before Hallett interrupted: "I love the freedom down here, and I've been relishing playing No8 again and linking up with Cat and our 10 in midfield. You learn to run hard because if you don't you will get smashed."
Stoke host their arch rivals Waimea in this weekend's final. The match has extra spice as Waimea are the only team to have beaten Stoke this season and they possess the best attacking opposition in the league.
Hallett said: "It's going to be a hard game. We lost to them once in a really fast and expansive game where they out played us in the first 20mins and we couldn't pull it back. That said we've beaten them twice and have just come off the back of a physical semi so we feel prepared for what they will bring on Saturday. Who would have thought we'd be playing a final in New Zealand? I'm excited."