Silverdale United Rugby Club’s fields were full of female players recently, when it welcomed the Harbour Hibiscus Farah Palmer Cup team for a training session, followed by fun activities with the club’s younger female players.
The event was held on Saturday, July 9. Head of women’s rugby development at the club, Glen Maguire, says it was the first event focused on women’s rugby that the club has hosted since 2019.
It included around 25 players from the Harbour Hibiscus Farah Palmer Cup team, including its captain Tenaija Fletcher, as well as more than 30 players aged 5-17-years-old. Tenaija, who played for Silverdale in 2019, is a current representative of the Blues Aupiki squad.
As well as a training session run by the Farah Palmer Cup team, there were games of turbo touch and other fun activities such as a noodle fight.
A sausage sizzle and a meal were then provided for players and coaches at the clubhouse.
Maguire says the Silverdale club currently has the largest number of junior players in NZ, including 158 registered junior female players. There are plans to enter a women’s team next season, after a gap of four years.
“In 2019 we had a women’s team and the largest sevens female rugby group in North Harbour,” Maguire says. “Since then all women’s club rugby in the region needed to be played at the Albany Barbarians, based in Albany. This event was part of building awareness for women’s rugby on the Hibiscus Coast and building connections between women’s rugby, our junior female players and the local rugby community.”
Named after global women’s rugby icon Dr Farah Palmer, the Cup is the sole women’s provincial rugby competition in New Zealand.