On tour in Samoa
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.