'Love to see every rugby-mad Cantabrian out there': Sisters call to action

Chelsea and Alana Bremner. Photos: Supplied
Chelsea and Alana Bremner. Photos: Supplied
The countdown is on to Christchurch's Festival of Rugby in August, with two test matches set to be held in the Garden City.

The All Blacks play Argentina on Saturday, August 27, while the Black Ferns take on Australia the week before on Saturday, August 20.

Christchurch sisters, Chelsea and Alana Bremner, have issued a challenge to the city and province to get in behind the Black Ferns for the clash against Australia.

"It'll be amazing to pull on the jersey here against the Wallaroos before we head to Northland for the World Cup. I'd love to see every rugby-mad Cantabrian get out there, turn up and show their support for our women's team," said Chelsea Bremner.

The sisters hail from Little River on Banks Peninsula and are the sixth set of sisters to pull on the black jersey together.

They have also played over 50 games for their club side Lincoln University and always had mum and dad on the sideline.

Sisters Alana and Chelsea Bremner. Photo: NZ Rugby
Sisters Alana and Chelsea Bremner. Photo: NZ Rugby
Both credit their parents with their inspiration and support.

"To this day, Mum and Dad have never missed a game, no matter what colour jersey we're pulling on," Alana Bremner said.

Growing up around wool sheds the sisters credit their family's work ethic for their own grit and determination. Their father is a shearer and they say it was his inspiration and drive, that has been ingrained in them today.

"It never mattered what sport we might be playing; they've turned up in the worst of weather to cheer us on," older sister Chelsea adds.

New Black Ferns Assistant Coach Whitney Hansen is another who has provided them with support as a coach and mentor.

"Whitney really lives by her 'Person before the Player' mentality and you can see how she's brought her teacher's mindset to the game and the team. She's so knowledgeable about the sport and personal development, that the team culture she's built is really paying off now and will for years to come."

Together the sisters have bought a house together and say they are more than just teammates.

"It's been pretty neat to have someone at home keeping you honest." Alana admits. "It certainly helps keep you on track with meal planning and cheat days. We drive to team appointments together, we train together. We give each other feedback on and off the field. It's incredibly helpful having someone beside you who knows you more than just a teammate."

With Canterbury's proud rugby history, both Alana and Chelsea are now calling on Christchurch and Canterbury to get in behind the Black Ferns for the test against the Wallaroos in three weeks' time, in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup in October

"Canterbury and Christchurch have such a strong rugby history and as the game's evolved, so has the fandom and support," says Alana Bremner.

"Filling the stands gives us a real hometown advantage and morale boost ahead of the tournament," she said.


Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter