25 May 2016

Womens rugby championship to play for Farah Palmer Cup

3:16 pm on 25 May 2016

The Women's Provincial Championship has been renamed the Farah Palmer Cup in recognition of one of the most iconic figures in women's rugby.

Former Black Ferns rugby captain Farah Palmer.

Former Black Ferns rugby captain Farah Palmer. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Farah Palmer Cup will kick off under its new name on August 6th.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen said the renamed competition represented an exciting time for rugby and was an appropriate acknowledgement of the contribution made by former Black Ferns captain, and three-time world champion, Dr Farah Palmer.

"Farah is a legend of the game. There will be many players out there delighted for women's rugby in New Zealand and especially proud of Farah," Sorensen said.

"She's been an important and loyal advocate for women's rugby in New Zealand for many years and has continued to provide great leadership through various administration roles including the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board.

"It's right that other players now following in her footsteps and striving to be the best rugby players they can be, can compete in the Farah Palmer Cup knowing that it provides an important pathway to the Black Ferns. With an exciting 2016 international Black Ferns programme soon to be announced and the Women's Rugby World Cup fast approaching next year, there's much to play for," he said.

A total of nine provinces - Auckland, North Harbour, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Manawatu, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago - will vie for a claim on the inaugural Farah Palmer Cup title.

Dr Farah Palmer said having the competition that launched her own rugby career named after her, was a great honour.

"It is very humbling to be associated with provincial women's rugby in New Zealand.

"Playing provincial rugby is where my love of the game began and although my name is on the Cup it's one small way of acknowledging all trailblazers in women's rugby who have challenged assumptions, invested in the game and pursued their rugby aspirations as players, coaches, administrators and leaders."

Palmer said she was looking forward to the 2016 season and to players starting to impress ahead of the Black Ferns 2016 programme and next year's Women's Rugby World Cup.