Rugby champs return to Tokanui

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Promoting . . .Tokanui School rugby players Isobel Manson (left, 6) and Ruby Earwaker (11) enjoyed a visit from Southland Girls' High School rugby players (from left) Emma Dermody (15), Kendall Buckingham (18) and Jessica Dermody (17) on Friday. PHOTO: AMANDA CARRINGTON

Tokanui School had a visit from three former pupils – and national rugby champions – on Friday.

Kendall Buckingham and Jessica and Emma Dermody are members of the Southland Girls’ High School team that won the national secondary schools competition this year, the first South Island team to do so.

The players talked to the pupils about being on the team during a school assembly.

Kendall, who is the captain, said girls’ rugby was not as popular or as well promoted as boys’ rugby.

“There’s not a lot of background about girls’ rugby so we thought we would bring it to the school.”

The girls learnt to play rugby at Tokanui School alongside the boys. About nine girls now play at Tokanui School.

“It’s a great game. They should definitely get involved,” Emma said.

“Don’t let the boys get to you,” Jessica said.