A group of secondary school girls will be involved in the nine provincial squads in this year’s Farah Palmer Cup Women’s NPC rugby competition.
The Farah Palmer Cup starts this weekend with a full round of four games. Canterbury has the bye. Our first profile is with Brooke Tauaneai, who has been selected in the Wellington Pride squad after a storming season playing for her local Wainuiomata senior club side as a lock/loose forward.
College Sport Media: Congratulations on making the 2016 Wellington Pride squad, how did you hear the news?
Brooke Tauaneai: I got called by the manager Mickey early the next morning (the day after the trial), and because I was one of the youngest and had trialled for both Pride and the Under 18’s squad, I had to decide what I was going to do and to talk to my parents before saying yes or no.
CSM: How long have you been playing rugby for?
BT: I started playing rugby in year 8. I was asked if I wanted to play for the high school, and so I played a couple of games that season with them and then continued in the next year.
CSM: What positions do you play?
BT: I have always played in the forwards either at prop or second row. The positions I have played this year for my club were blindside flanker and lock. At school I play prop and lock.
CSM: You have just spent a full season playing senior women’s rugby in Wellington for your home club Wainuiomata – what have you learned this year?
BT: I have learned a lot playing with older/mature women, new skills, tips and trick better ways to do things. They do not just teach you how to play but you learn life with them. My team (players, management, coaches) has such a great culture and family environment they are all like older sisters me and elders that I look up to.
CSM: Prior to this year, when did you make your debut for Wainuiomata in senior women’s rugby, can you recall your debut match?
BT: I started playing in year 10 for the Wainuiomata women’s team and that was Sevens as I was asked and from then I decided to give rugby a go in 2014 I was about 14 turning 15 that year.
CSM: Tell us about your school rugby?
BT: I play for Wainuiomata High School on Wednesday nights. This year we have been progressing well, there are always things to work on and it has been fun. Our big games have been Hutt Valley High School and St Catherine’s College.
CSM: Have you also played Sevens rugby for Wainuiomata High School?
BT: I have played Sevens for the school since I was year 9 (2013, age 12/13) and that year we won the wellington Condor Sevens competition that was played at Naenae College and we went to Auckland to play against all the bigger teams.
CSM: What other sports do you play?
BT: Athletics - every year I do throwing event discuss and sometimes shot put. Netball - every very since year 4 I have played netball, except this year as a lot of the sports I chose have conflicted with one another. I have also played cricket and play volleyball.
CSM: Wainuiomata is a close-knit community – who are your role models, in rugby or other sports?
BT: We are close-knit community; my role models growing up were and still are my parents. I aspire to be a Black Fern like my teammate Jackie Patea. My family loves rugby. Although my brother and I did not start with it we have grown to love it, my cousin’s play for their schools/clubs and my sisters are playing league.
CSM: Sieni Mose, another Wainuiomata High School alumni, got her first break in rugby league. You will be of playing age next year, are you intending on playing the 13man game?
BT: I first started out playing league from the age of 5-12 and the only reason stopped was because a new rule came in that females were now not allowed to play the under 13’s grade because of the physical difference between boys and girls. Whilst I was playing, there were not many of us girls but we were playing big roles in our respective teams and when the rule came into effect, I think it just hindered the female population in league in continuing later on in life. I think about playing again but I am still not sure as I know I have a big love for rugby.
CSM: You have stepped up your training another level this year, what has been your motivation?
BT: My motivation was my goals, to be better than my opponent was. If I was playing 6 I wanted to play better than the 6 on the other team, my family also motivated and there support has had a huge impact on why I play and love to play.
CSM: What would you say to other school girls hesitant to try rugby?
BT: What I would say to those who want to is you never know unless you try. If you are scared, take a friend who will go to the training with you and support you or contact a person you know who plays rugby who you can...
Looking for USA Scholarships? Check out USA CONNECT
Looking for $40000 University of Waikato Study Scholarships CLICK HERE
Looking for Sport Exchange Opportunities to Australia CLICK HERE
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand