A pre-season tournament for the Bay of Plenty's Rugby Women's Association took place today at the Waikite Club, Rotorua. The tournament hopes to set the standard for the region with the start of the women's rugby season next week.
Ange Withers-Te Kiri from Arataki says, "For a short time we didn't have a tournament like this for women, but within the last three years, this tournament has begun and the call then went out to women and girls to play this sport."
Today's pre-season tournament has eight teams playing. Those eight teams then continue on playing in the season.
Withers-Te Kiri explains she's played rugby at national level for a long time.
This year's teams include Arataki who were last year's title winners, Tauranga Sports, Rotoiti, Waikite, Ngongotaha, Te Whānau a Apanui, Waimana and Tokoroa.
Withers-Te Kiri is also a manager at Te Wharekura o Mauao in Tauranga and says, "My dream for them is to follow in our footsteps and play this sport."
The women's rugby season is set to start next week.