LES ELDER'S career has seen two distinct phases. As a teenager, Elder (nee Ketu) played 10 games for Waikato in 2004-05, before moving back to netball. In 2009 Elder moved to Australia where she got back into rugby, developing her game for three years before returning to New Zealand in 2013.
The strong loose forward made a good impression for Waikato in her comeback, cracking the Black Ferns in 2015 at the age of 28 for the Women’s Super Series in Canada.
The following year during an FPC match Elder was stretchered off the field in what could have been a career-ending injury. Determined to make the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup side she fought her way back into Glenn Moore’s squad through sheer determination and hard work. Elder is an uncompromising player, tough and resilient on and off the field.
She is a natural leader, calm under pressure and was named captain of the Black Ferns for the first time in 2019. Elder took time off in 2020, becoming a Mum, and returned to the Black Ferns squad in 2021.
Elder’s brothers, Robin and Steve Ketu, both represented King Country in 2013. Off the field Elder is the Bay of Plenty Women’s Rugby Development Officer.
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