Black Ferns touring to inspire next generation

Black Ferns trio (from left) Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, Aroha Savage and Toka Natua share the...
Black Ferns trio (from left) Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, Aroha Savage and Toka Natua share the Women’s World Cup trophy with the St Hilda’s Collegiate under-14 sevens team at Logan Park yesterday. The girls are (from left) Katie Wilson (14), Ella Smilie (14), Rubie Cummings (14), Jaymee Meffan (13), Rosie Dykes (13) and Amelia Johnston (13). Photo: Gregor Richardson
Nancy Wake was back in Dunedin yesterday.

She was accompanied by Black Ferns Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, Toka Natua and Aroha Savage.

The trio were in Dunedin to promote women’s rugby and brought their old friend, Nancy, their nickname for the Women’s World Cup trophy.

Touring with Nancy never gets boring. The Black Ferns came to Dunedin in September on the same mission — to inspire the next generation of Black Ferns and share their stories from their successful World Cup campaign.

The internationals visited St Hilda’s Collegiate in the morning, spent the afternoon at Subritzky-Nafatali’s old school, Otago Girls’ High School, and rounded the day out with a trip to the Otago secondary schools girls sevens competition at Logan Park.

Today the players will travel to Alexandra and Cromwell and wrap up their tour on Friday in Wanaka and Queenstown.

Subritzky-Nafatali (26), who started her career for Otago but plays for Counties-Manukau in the Farah Palmer Cup, is recovering from knee surgery and is enjoying her role as an ambassador of sorts.

"It is what it is all about," she said.

"Promoting and growing the game."

"Man, there are more teams now than there was when I was at school," she said, looking around at multiple games under way.

"That is a plus."

The Black Ferns produced an inspiring effort to beat a professional England team 41-32 in the final of the World Cup last year. That success and the rise of sevens has given the women’s game a boost.

"These girls might be the next Black Ferns, we don’t know," Subritzky-Nafatali said, looking around at the action again.

"If we can help them get to where they want to get, then let it be."

Nancy Wake was a multi-decorated New Zealand-born member of the French Resistance during World War 2.

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