KENNEDY SIMON can very much be considered the prototype of the modern loose forward, combining speed, power and outstanding ball skills.
She can play all three loose forward positions, and her try in the 2020 Farah Palmer Cup Final against Canterbury showed all her vaunted determination and hard-nosed attitude, reminiscent of the likes of Charmaine McMenamin and Les Elder.
Simon, who plays for the Hamilton Old Boys club, and did her schooling at Hamilton Girls’ High School, made her Farah Palmer Cup debut for Waikato in 2018 against Counties Manukau. She immediately established herself as one of the team’s most important players, starting in all seven of Waikato’s games, including four at blindside flanker and three at openside. In 2019 she operated at No 8 and No 7 for Waikato, and in 2020 was used mostly at No 8, scoring two tries.
Simon’s tally now stands at four tries in 25 games for Waikato, having also brought up her blazer game in 2020.
Simon is also an outstanding Sevens player and was part of the Auckland side at the 2018 National Sevens tournament in Rotorua. After a strong performance there, Simon was selected in the Black Ferns Sevens Development team which toured Japan in 2019. She has previously lived in and played Sevens in Japan.
But her career highlight thus far came in her 2019 debut for the Black Ferns against the USA. She made four appearances as a replacement for the team in 2019 and is thirsty for more exposure at the highest level.
In 2022, Simon returned from injury to lead the Black Ferns to Rugby World Cup glory, alongside fellow co-captain Ruahei Demant.
IWI: Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Māhanga
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