On tour in Samoa

The Northland Age - - Sport -

A team of 16 made up of women play­ers rang­ing from Kaitaia to O¯ ta­matea left to­day for Samoa to rep­re­sent North­land at the in­ter­na­tional Marist rugby sevens tour­na­ment on Fri­day and Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 15-16.

All fea­tured for the North­land side which won the North­ern Re­gions Ma¯ori rugby tour­na­ment in Oc­to­ber last year for the first time since 2007, tak­ing back the im­pres­sive and his­toric tro­phy, Hine, a 1.3m/ 40kg carved tro­phy (which North­land orig­i­nally gave to the tour­na­ment). The tour­ing party is coached by two-time New Zealand women’s rugby player of the year, Raw­inia Everitt, and 30-test Black Ferns vet­eran, Aroha Sav­age. The team will rep­re­sent Te Tai Tok­erau on the world stage in Samoa, where play­ers’ eyes will be opened to the qual­ity of those from other na­tions. Other goals for Everitt and Sav­age are to re-es­tab­lish women’s rugby in the Far North, push other lo­cal women to join as well as bring back those who have played in the past, and, ul­ti­mately, get a North­land team in the Farah Palmer Cup team (women rugby’s equiv­a­lent of the Mitre 10 Cup). They plan to cap­i­talise on the ris­ing in­ter­est in the game with New Zealand set to host the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2021 of which some games are to be played in Whangarei.

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