Saturday, June 22, 2024

Lefau to represent NZ U15 Sevens in France 

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Howick College year 10 student Uaina Lefau has been selected in the NZ U15 Sevens side to travel to Frace next month.

A Year 10 Howick College student has the trip of a lifetime ahead as she is set to represent the New Zealand U15 Sevens side in a world-first tournament in France next month.

Uaina Lefau is one of few New Zealanders selected to represent the country at the 2023 Rugby Heritage Cup Tournament in France.

The New Zealand Under 15 sevens team was selected by the Condors NZ Rugby Club and contains young rugby players from across the country.

Her mum, Lima, says the family is incredibly proud of her selection.

“When we got the news that she had been selected we were all in tears. We are so blessed that she has such an amazing opportunity ahead,” she says.

Uaina played seven years of junior rugby at the Pakuranga United Rugby Club. In 2021 she won the Nan Bell Memorial Trophy for the best player in all grades.

“When she first joined, she was the only girl in a team of boys, so I think that’s probably what has built up her confidence.

“Former coaches and other people that have been in her life have helped influence and mould her into the player that she is now,” Lima says.

Pakuranga Junior committee vice chairperson Dave Grant says Uaina is not only an exceptionally gifted sportswoman and future star of the game, but also an amazing young person.

“We are not surprised to learn of Uaina’s selection in this representative team, she is a fantastic young player.

“On behalf of the Pakuranga family, we send Uaina our best wishes for the upcoming tournament and her first time representing the country – we are sure it won’t be the last,” says Grant.

This is a strong first step towards Uaina’s dream to one day become a Black Fern.

“She looks up to a lot of female role models in the Rugby Sevens circuit like Ruby Tui, Portia Woodman and her cousin even plays for Australia so she dreams about being like them,” Lima says.

Howick College director of sport Adelita Sotutu says Uaina’s selection is just the latest of successes in the Howick College rugby programme.

“Howick College has produced International 7s players Isla Norman-Bell and Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Blues players and Farah Palmer Cup players.  We have had girls travel to Japan and America on 7s contracts,” Sotutu says.

Uaina was a member of the Howick College senior girls 7s team last year that competed at Condors and this year featured in the senior rugby girls’ 10s team that won the title.

“She is a talented young lady who has a massive future ahead of her,” says Sotutu.

As for the trip ahead, Lima says the news hasn’t really hit her daughter yet but will quickly become a reality as she is set to embark on August 28.

The tournament will get underway on September 1 in Pontlevoy, France, a week before the 2023 Rugby World Cup. It will be the first school rugby world tournament in history.

It won’t just be about Rugby however, with two other components to the tournament to win the Rugby Heritage Cup.

“This tournament is centred around cultural mix and diversity. It will bring together girls and boys of different origins and include both sporting and cultural activities enabling a dialogue between the students from 20 nations,” says the event’s organiser.

Learn more about the tournament at pontlevoy2023.com/en/the-tournament/.

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