Originally from Taranaki and now playing her rugby in Canterbury, Cocksedge has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit to cap off another successful year for the 32 year-old halfback.
She was ﬁrst recognised in 2006 with selection for the Taranaki and Hurricanes Schools, where her resourceful, intuitive halfback play, allround skills and goalkicking (and dropkicking) ability ﬁrst came to the fore.
Among her many gongs. Cocksedge was awarded World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year in 2015, the same season she was named New Zealand Rugby Women’s Player of the Year, mainly for her sterling displays in the Women’s Super Series in Canada.
In 2018, she was the Fiao’o Faamausili Medal winner for her superb form for Canterbury in the Farah Palmer Cup, picked up her second New Zealand Rugby Women’s Player of the Year award and broke through the glass ceiling to be the first female recipient of the Kelvin Tremain Memorial Trophy as the top player in the New Zealand game. In all, she scored 13 tries and a record 173 points in 13 first-class games that season.
Since debuting for the Black Ferns in 2007 as a teenager, Cocksedge has gone on to win two Rugby World Cups, in 2010 and 2017, as well as clinching a Rugby World Cup Sevens crown in 2013, playing three tournaments in all for the Black Ferns Sevens.
Her 53 Tests, including 45 straight, is second only to Fiao’o Faamausili, while her 342 Test points is a Black Ferns record. In 2019, she captained the Black Ferns for the first time against France.
At the end of the 2020 season, after winning a fourth straight Farah Palmer Cup crown and being award the Fiao’o Faamausili Medal for a second time, Cocksedge holds a raft of records for Canterbury, including most tries (61) and most points (968).
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Mark Robinson said: “Kendra is a leading figure in the women’s game and works tirelessly both on and off the field. She continues to set a benchmark as one of the best halfbacks in the world and the work she does in her role as Women’s Rugby Participation Manager ensures the game continues to grow.
“This recognition is so well-deserved and we are delighted for her and her family.”
Former Canterbury player and Japanese international Emeritus Professor Yoshihiro Sakata was made an Honorary Member for services to New Zealand-Japan relations and rugby.