The Northern United Women’s team were the significant winners at the 2018 Wellington Community Rugby Awards at the Harbourside Function Centre on Wednesday night.
Northern United, winners of the Rebecca Liua’ana and Tia Paasi Memorial Cup, were named Team of the Year for their near-perfect season.
Northern United’s Matt Poutoa was also named Coach of the Year.
The drop in the number of male rugby players is currently being matched by the growth women playing rugby in New Zealand; 3500 girls have taken up the game in 2018.
New Zealand Rugby head of women’s rugby development Cate Sexton attributes the growth to the overwhelming success of the Black Ferns, and the greater financial investment in women’s rugby.
“Following our double-digit growth last year, these figures show there is a real generational shift going on in our game, and it’s great to see so many young girls being inspired to give rugby a go,” said Sexton.
Full list of Wellington Community Rugby Award winners:
Sir William Perry Memorial Trophy: Northern United
Griffiths Memorial Trophy: Wellington Premier
Referee of the Year: Richard Gordon
Club Coach of the Year: Matt Poutoa (Northern United)
Club Team of the Year: Northern United Women
Les Mills Age Grade Player of the Year: Caleb Delaney (Old Boys University)
Women’s Club Player of the Year: Ayesha Leti-Iiga (Oriental-Rongotai)
Men’s Club Player of the Year: Greg Foe (Poneke)
WRFU Lifetime Contribution Salver: Dave Painter (Upper Hutt Rams)