Catching up with Hazel Tubic

Counties Power Heat skipper Hazel Tubic is set for a massive 12 months as she leads the province through the Farah Palmer Cup and sets sight on next year’s World Cup here in New Zealand.

She grew up in Te Kauwhata and started playing rugby at the age of nine. It has taken her to Japan, where she played professionally, and she’s represented the Black Ferns since 2011 at both Sevens and 15-a-side.

“I was off a farm – it was a bit different when I started coming up here for rugby. I have been part of Counties Manukau since I started,” Tubic said.

“Te Kauwhata is a small place, and we struggle for players at the rugby club so a few of the other kids asked a couple of us girls to fill in the numbers and we went along, and I enjoyed it so have kept playing ever since.”

The experienced campaigner is a key player for the young Heat side, and she has been forced to take on greater responsibility this year, including taking over as captain.

“It is always an honour to lead the Counties team,” Tubic said. “Unfortunately for Adi [Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu], she is out with injury, so that meant that I had to step up and take that role.

“As a team we are in a little bit of a rebuilding phase. There are a few new girls coming in and so it is about progressing on and setting the standard for Counties Manukau Rugby.”

Tubic was an enthusiastic supporter of the Black Ferns Sevens team at the Tokyo Olympics and was proud of what the side achieved in winning the gold medal.

She is likely to be part of the Black Ferns side that plays at next year’s World Cup here in New Zealand and seeing the success of the Sevens side has certainly inspired her.

“It was awesome – alongside the players, everyone in New Zealand had a tear in their eye as they held up that gold medal,” Tubic said. “I am happy for them for all their efforts – it is a pretty special moment.

“In the back of my mind I was thinking about the World Cup next year and how I want to be up there holding up the Cup.

“Making that team would be really cool and then hopefully winning the Cup but it won’t be easy – the standard of women’s rugby around the world has grown immensely and every team is a contender now.”


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