Black Ferns halfback Kendra Cocksedge told Israel Dagg on Sky Sport’s Investec Super Rugby Isolation Nation that she almost hung up the boots.
“I was going to retire after the 2017 Rugby World Cup. But then one of our girls got injured and she can’t actually play rugby again. I was like man, I can actually physically play, why would I retire. And then when it was decided that New Zealand will host the World Cup next year, I wanted to be in that.”
Rugby World Cup 2021 will run between the 18 September and 16 October, with matches to be played at Waitakere Stadium, Whangarei’s Northland Events Centre and Eden Park.
Cocksedge has been in the Black Ferns environment for 14 years, but it’s the girls that keep her coming back for more.
“I know that everyone who speaks about the Black Ferns say it’s the girls that keeps you going. The girls in the team and the culture and the environment. It’s exciting and there are heaps of opportunities. I have my own little goals every year to keep me trucking along.”
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Cocksedge has made 53 appearances for the Black Ferns and she said this year’s announcement about eight Tests, with seven of those at home, would be momentous for the women’s game. Although, with the current Covid-19 situation, an announcement is yet to be made on home Tests in New Zealand.
“The girls are so excited about it and fingers crossed it still happens. To have seven Tests at home in front of friends and family is something that most of the team only dream of. I’ve been in the team a very long time and we usually have one or two Tests at home a year. The game is growing so much and the young girls and boys seeing this, especially the young girls would be awesome for them to come and see live games.”
The 2018 Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year has been isolating at her new home in Christchurch. Her flat mate, and fellow Black Fern Grace Brooker, headed out to her family’s farm before lockdown, so she’s been keeping herself busy.
“I’m still working from home and training and I actually have heaps of stuff to do around the place, because I’ve only been in my house 10 months. It’s been really handy to be here.
“I’ve been staining the deck and I have cleaned out the garage. Now I want to get a vege garden sorted.”
Catch Investec Super Rugby Isolation Nation every Wednesday and Sunday at 7.30pm on Sky Sport 1.