Following incredible success within the Nayland College Girls Rugby team, Lucy Mahuika, Paige Andrews and Ruby Thomas have been chosen to join the Mako U18 Women’s training squad, with Lucy and Paige selected to join the tournament squad. The Mako U18 Girls are competing in Waimate this weekend against other South Island teams. Go the Makos!! And good luck Lucy & Paige!
Seeing the girls’ talent and potential, their coaches put their names forward to trial for the Mako U18 Girls squad. Ruby Thomas, Lucy Mahuika and Paige Andrews were all selected for the training squad which meant training together, playing some games, all with Makos coaches watching them closely.
When Ruby was asked how she felt about getting picked for the training squad she replied, “It was quite cool, a cool opportunity to develop my rugby skills.”
Ruby started playing rugby when she was 9yrs old and so has been playing for around 6yrs. “I had already tried football and some other sports, so I just wanted to give rugby a go ‘cos I always watched with my Dad when I was younger,” she said.
Her goal is to stay in the Makos and hopefully go through to the older Women’s Makos squad.
Out of the 50 girls trialing to make the tournament squad, Paige and Lucy were named as two of the 24 players going through. They’re playing their first round of games as a team in Waimate this weekend, going up against other South Island teams over four days with a game a day.
When asked how she has found being a part of the squad, Lucy replied, “Yeah it’s been mean. They’ve got an awesome team culture and the coaches are awesome, they have lots of knowledge, and yeah, I’ve learned a lot. [I’ve been playing] since I was like 4yrs, but I’ve loved it for my whole life so it’s pretty cool to be part of the team.”
Her goals are firstly to make the U18 NZ Māori squad next year, and then further goals are to make the Black Ferns or the Black Ferns 7s, to play for Matatu (Women’s Super Rugby team) and to play for the Tasman Makos. Lucy has already been selected for the NZ Rugby National Māori U18 Development camp for 2022 so she’s well on her way!
In terms of training Lucy said, “There are two trainings a week but I normally do something like kick every day, just to get consistency, go to the gym. It’s hard for me not to do anything, I like to be active, I like to get out everyday and go out with my Dad. My Dad’s the coach so I’m always learning from him.”
Paige Andrews has also been playing rugby since she was 4yrs old. “I started with Stoke Club then Nelson Club and now Nayland College and the U18 Mako Girls. I chose to play rugby because my older brother was playing and wanted to do what he was.”
When asked how she felt about being selected for the tournament squad Paige replied, “I felt pretty excited to be picked, but also nervous as well, but loved pulling on the Mako jersey.”
Paige too has her sights set on further goals. “I would love to be able to put on the Silver Fern one day and play for Black Ferns but baby steps, I hope to make U17s for next couple years, followed by the Womens Mako in time.”
Good luck girls and congratulations! We look forward to watching your rugby endeavours progress!
By Sarah Luton