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Former Black Ferns Richards and Palmer inducted into Hall of Fame

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allblacks.com     19 Nov 2014     Getty Images

The Hall of Fame was launched in 2006 to recognise those who have made a major contribution to rugby.

Richards and Palmer joined four other women: Nathalie Amiel (France), Gill Burns (England), Patty Jervey (USA), Carol Isherwood (England) as the first women to enter the Hall of Fame as well as some greats of the men’s game.

“Anna and Farah are fantastic ambassadors for rugby and superb athletes,” said New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew. “They have paved the way for female rugby players not just in New Zealand, they have also inspired rugby players from around the world.

“They deserve to be in the Hall of Fame alongside their New Zealand male counterparts, like Michael Jones, John Kirwan and Grant Fox,” he said.

Anna Richards was a Black Fern from 1990 to 2010 and played in five Women's Rugby World Cups (1991, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010). She has 49 caps to her name and is currently head coach of the Hong Kong Women’s Sevens team.

"It's a bit of a surprise but a great honour to be acknowledged in such a way by the IRB," said Richards.

"I was fortunate enough to play in some really great Black Fern teams who were dominant over a number of years."

Farah Palmer was a Black Fern from 1996 to 2006 and under her captaincy, the national side lost only one match.

She played in three Rugby World Cups (1998, 2002 and 2006) and earned 35 caps in total. Dr Palmer is a a member of the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board and a senior lecture at Massey University’s School of Management.

In August former All Blacks Grant Fox, Graham Mourie, Fred Allen, Sir John Kirwan, Ian Kirkpatrick, Michael Jones, Sean Fitzpatrick, Don Clarke, George Nepia, Sir Colin Meads and former Herald journalist Sir T P McLean were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The new inductions to the IRB Hall of Fame were: Nathalie Amiel (France), Gill Burns (England), Patty Jervey (USA), Carol Isherwood (England), Anna Richards (New Zealand), Farah Palmer (New Zealand), Keith Rowlands (Wales), Jim Greenwood (Scotland), JPR Williams (Wales), Michael Lynagh (Australia), Jo Maso (France), Keith Wood (Ireland), Ieuan Evans (Wales), Jason Leonard (England) and Bill Beaumont (England).