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Inspiring the next generation of rugby stars

Tuesday 16 August 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Inspiring the next generation of rugby stars
Photo: MELINA ETCHES/22081511

All-rounder sportsgirl and Cook Islands Rugby Under-18s women’s development squad member Mahana Sijp stands proudly with her aunt and former national rep Margaret Nena during the official opening ceremony of the touring Women’s Rugby World Cup trophy.

Young girls and women were present at the event held at the Domes in Tupapa yesterday morning. The prestigious trophy is touring the country for the first time.

New Zealand Rugby Pacific Sporting ambassadors Tita Leaupepe and Cook Islander Margaret Nena arrived with the trophy on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a privilege to be home and it’s good to have the opportunity to bring this wonderful trophy here on home soil to inspire our young girls who hopefully one day will hold this cup,” said Nena, who hails from the island of Mitiaro.

The 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup was due to take place in New Zealand from September to October 2021, due to Covid-19 it was postponed to this year.

The Cook Islands Rugby Union will send an Under 18 squad to the first ever Rugby World Cup U18s Women’s Legacy programme as part of the Women’s Rugby World Cup which will take place in October-November in New Zealand.