What is the biggest thing you have seen change in the Farah Palmer Cup since you started playing?
Firstly, there are a lot more teams. There used to only be five or so teams when I started and of that there were only really two teams that usually dominated. It’s so good to see that now, all across the country we’ve got teams and opportunities for girls to join their union and play - that’s great.
The standard of tactical play has really grown as well. Back in the day it was a lot of hit ups and trying to bowl through the opposition, now we have more systems in play which makes you have to think a bit more and I really enjoy that side of the game.
What are some of the goals you and the team have this year?
We want to win that title. We managed to win in 2016 and that’s our only title so we’d love to get another. We are definitely aiming for that, but we are in a strong pool in the north so we have to take each game as it comes because you just don’t know with the teams we have to face.
For me personally, I have decided to not head back overseas next year and try make the Black Ferns team for the World Cup. There are few games in November this year and I would like to push to be part of that so that’s a goal following the FPC season. But obviously I want to do well with Counties first and hopefully go through and win that championship.
What do you enjoy about being a part of the Counties Manukau team?
The culture of the girls. We train hard but we love to have a laugh at the same time. There are a couple of us old ones, the old Aunties, and then the young girls that are still at school, so the mix is great, some young crazy ones and then us older, maybe more serious ones. Off field we love to bring together our cultures and really enjoy each other’s company.
Talking of older players, who are some of the players that inspired you when you first started playing rugby?
When I came along, I was still at school and I had players like Anna Richards that were playing. When you get to play against players like that you learn so much and they really inspire you to see what you can achieve in rugby. I feel so lucky to have played with a lot of great players from that era in the early 2000s, I looked up to them and learnt from them.
When I talk to young players now, sometimes they have never really heard of those players because they weren’t as well known or on TV back then and I think its kind of sad they never got to see how good they really were.
On the other end of the scale, are there any young players in your team you think we should keep an eye on?
Lisa Molia – she is going to be a star so watch out for her! This is only her first year out of school and she’s already been to a few Black Ferns camp this year. She was awesome for us last year in the FPC and even in our national sevens campaign she was great. Hopefully, we’ll get to see her in a black jersey soon.