NPC named after Black Ferns & Manawatu legend Farah Palmer

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) today announced that with the support of competition sponsor Mitre 10, the Farah Palmer Cup will kick off under its new name on 6 August.

NZR General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen said the renamed competition represented an exciting time for rugby and was an appropriate acknowledgement of the contribution made by former Black Ferns captain, and three-time world champion, Dr Farah Palmer.

NZ Womens Rugby Farah Palmer Cup NPC

“Farah is a legend of the game. There will be many players out there delighted for women’s rugby in New Zealand and especially proud of Farah,” Sorensen said.

“She’s been an important and loyal advocate for women’s rugby in New Zealand for many years and has continued to provide great leadership through various administration roles including the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board.

“It’s right that other players now following in her footsteps and striving to be the best rugby players they can be, can compete in the Farah Palmer Cup knowing that it provides an important pathway to the Black Ferns. With an exciting 2016 international Black Ferns programme soon to be announced and the Women’s Rugby World Cup fast approaching next year, there’s much to play for,” he said.

A total of nine provinces – Auckland, North Harbour, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Manawatu, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago - will vie for a claim on the inaugural Farah Palmer Cup title.

Dr Farah Palmer said having the competition that launched her own rugby career named after her, was a great honour.

“It is very humbling to be associated with provincial women’s rugby in New Zealand.

“Playing provincial rugby is where my love of the game began and although my name is on the Cup it’s one small way of acknowledging all trailblazers in women’s rugby who have challenged assumptions, invested in the game and pursued their rugby aspirations as players, coaches, administrators and leaders.”

Palmer said she was looking forward to the 2016 season and to players starting to impress ahead of the Black Ferns 2016 programme and next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.