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Hauraki North’s first women’s team will feature current Vixens players. Photo: SUPPLIED

Hauraki North Diamonds kick off

An opportunity to capitalise on the “strong” women’s rugby movement led Hauraki North Rugby Club to form its inaugural women’s team.
President Andrew Williams told The Profile the women’s team, called the Diamonds, would be a “great addition” to Hauraki North.
“We’ve had rugby in our community now for 110 years and [in 2021] we had challenges for the first time in a long time where we could only field one senior men’s team, and that was because of the Covid yarn,” he said.
“At that point we needed to look at ourselves and say ‘what can we do to keep our club going?’
“With the women’s rugby being so strong, we thought let’s have a look at this. We’ve got the core with our facilities to adapt to change and tick the boxes and hopefully we see other Thames Valley clubs looking down the same avenue as well.”
Andrew said the idea to establish the Diamonds team also stemmed from the success of the Thames Valley Vixens and a Whangamatā sevens tournament held in November last year. “Ex-player Brendan Clark saw Thames Valley were looking for a coach to coach their Vixens team for the year. Brendan put his hand up for that and they were the best winning team in terms of their win-loss average,” he said.
“Then there was an opportunity for us to put a [Hauraki North] team [into the sevens tournament] using Brendan as the coach. From there, we had discussions that someone needs to put their hand up… and the chance for the girls to put a team in the Waikato Women’s Premier Competition is here for us now so we’re sort of taking it with both hands to welcome these girls into our rugby club.”
Brendan Clark, who’s the head coach of the Diamonds, said the current players had competed for the Vixens and were “stoked” to be part of a Hauraki North team.
“They’re looking forward to being in an official Waikato premier competition, which is going to be a pretty tough thing for them to have a crack at, but they’re all very excited,” he said.
“I think in the pre-season we’ve got a couple of games lined up with Auckland Marist and College Rifles.”
Brendan said a development women’s team was also planned.
“We’ve got about 20 or 30 wanting to play in 2023 at Hauraki North and then we’ll have a campaign to get some more players over the summer,” he said.
“We’ll probably hold a muster or two just to try and get a [few] more girls coming out and having a look.
“Coaching wise, we’ll look out for a couple more coaches for the development side and to help out with the premiere side.”
DETAILS: A Hauraki North muster will take place at its Waitakaruru rugby grounds at 6pm on January 20.