The Women’s Provincial Championships has been
renamed the Farah Palmer Cup in recognition of one of the most iconic figures
in women’s rugby.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) today announced that
with the support of competition sponsor Mitre 10, the Farah Palmer Cup will
kick off under its new name on 6 August.
NZR 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
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.
The 2016 Farah Palmer Cup presented by Mitre
The action kicks off in the seven-round Farah
Palmer Cup on 6 August with a re-match between last year's finalists, Auckland
and Wellington. Bay of Plenty hosts North Harbour, Manawatu plays Otago and
Waikato takes on Counties Manukau. Canterbury starts the competition with a
bye. Several games will be televised by SKY Sport as curtain raisers to Mitre
10 Cup games.
The semifinals will be played on 24 September with the
Farah Palmer Cup champions to be determined in the Final on Saturday 1 October.
ALLBLACKS.COM 25 MAY 2016 GETTY IMAGES