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Black Ferns capped in Christchurch ceremony

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Seventeen Black Ferns from around the South Island were honoured this evening, at a special capping ceremony in Christchurch.

The ceremony followed a similar event in Auckland last week and was part of a New Zealand Rugby project to cap all past and present players.

New Zealand Rugby Board Chair Brent Impey said it was important to acknowledge the contribution all players had made to the legacy of the Black Ferns.

"Committing to cap the Black Ferns gave us the opportunity to gather and preserve the history and heritage of the team. We have taken our time to ensure we get it right. We are in the midst of an incredible time for women’s rugby and we are very much looking forward to hosting the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup here so we can showcase the Black Ferns to the world," Impey said.

Winner of the 2019 Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Rugby Player of the Year Kendra Cocksedge, former Black Ferns Captain Melissa Ruscoe, and Canterbury Captain Stephanie Te Oharere-Fox were among those honoured this evening.

Cocksedge who has worn the black jersey since 2007, and earlier this week was named in the 2019 squad, said it was a special evening because she was able to share her achievements with her parents who were in the room.

"No rugby player achieves success in the black jersey on their own. Our families, friends and teammates have all played a part in helping us realise our dreams.

"My parents don’t often see me play because we are away a lot. To share this moment with them is very special. My family has encouraged me and had my back every step of the way. This recognition and celebration tonight is as much theirs as it is mine."

Impey said the Black Ferns capping project had been years in planning and the first ceremony took place in 2018 with more planned.

The caps are based on traditional rugby caps and feature the Black Ferns number, the silver fern and details of their Test debut.

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