Q’town player bolsters Southland



Queenstown rugby player Lauren Brown (right) was the resort’s sole rep in the Southland women’s team who finished their short season on a winning note last weekend.

They beat Otago Development 19-12 after losing 17-10 to the same side the week before.

Brown, 24, started each game at blindside flanker before switching to lock.

She formerly played for the University of Canterbury side for four years, and when  attending school in Invercargill played for the Southland girls’ side.

This season she also played for the Wakatipu women’s team.

‘‘We started with a lot of new players that had never played rugby before, so that was an interesting experience, but it was cool to grow as a team and win our last game,’’ she says.

Her Wakatipu coach Grant Scannell calls her ‘‘an awesome play er’’, saying she’s very, very strong and always consistent.

Meantime, six Wakatipu rugby gongs were handed out last Saturday night at the club’s annual awards dinner in Queenstown.

Premiers’ most improved was Jamie Natapu, players’ player was Bradley Cross and player of the year Steven Banks.

Others honoured were Wanderers’ Ollie Proudman (most improved), Xavier Sadler (players’
player), Lukairnn Holden (player of the year), and for the women, Yonah Croize (most improved), Zoe Price (players’ player) and Erin Bennie (player of the year).

The club’s 2021 personality of the year went to Scannell, while Stu Deaver was named ‘club man’ for the season.