Girl power rules at rugby

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A 23-strong group of gutsy Wakatipu High girls are making their mark on the rugby field. 

It’s the school’s biggest-ever girls’ rugby squad to play in a developing Central Otago schools’ competition, organised by Wakatipu High teacher and coach Laura Allen. 

They haven’t won a game so far this season but are building up valuable skills on and off the field, Allen says. 

“It’s about giving it a go … as well as growing individually in confidence. 

“If it weren’t for rugby, a lot of these girls wouldn’t be playing any sport.” 

Allen, an ex-Canterbury rep, has grown the team from eight players three years ago to a full First XV side. 

Women’s rugby is the same as the men’s, except for depowered scrums. Allen wants to see the continued growth of the sport so the school’s girls’ team gets stronger. 

Captain and flanker Jay Moore, 16, says they’re continuing to improve: “We’re actually starting to play properly now.”