Twenty-six players have been named in the inaugural Matatū squad for Super Rugby Aupiki, including a diverse representation of established Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) players, Black Ferns and Wallaroos internationals, and emerging young talent from across the South Island.
The University of Canterbury (UC) is proud to be a brand partner of the foundational team in 2022. UC student Lucy Jenkins is one of the 26 players and is in her third year of studying towards a Bachelor of Sport Coaching Degree along with Grace Brooker, who was announced at the team launch as one of the first contracted players in Matatū.
Alumni of the University have also been named in the team. Chelsea Bremner graduated from with a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in 2015. Liv McGoverne graduated with a Bachelor of Sport Coaching in 2019 and Grace Steinmetz studied Law and Commerce at the University.
University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey said of the team partnership: “The University of Canterbury is committed to gender equity and social inclusion, and we are proud to support South Island wāhine competing under the Super Rugby banner. It is pleasing to see nearly a quarter of Matatū contracted so far are UC-educated wāhine, paving the way for future generations.”
Two more names will be added soon to make up a 28-strong contracted squad.
Sarah Munro, GM Women’s Professional Rugby, commented that the squad naming is an exciting leap forward for the club, but more importantly it’s a historic moment for the 26 players named today and professional women’s rugby in New Zealand.