Story: Rugby union

Women playing men's rugby team

Women playing men's rugby team

During the Second World War this group of women, dressed in old-fashioned hobble skirts (long, narrow skirts), played a men's team at Athletic Park, Wellington. Their dress and footwear suggests that the game was not taken seriously and was put on as light entertainment. This condescending attitude towards women playing rugby continued until the 1980s, when women rugby players began to be treated more seriously.

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New Zealand Rugby Museum
Reference: 96.285.23

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How to cite this page:

Ron Palenski, 'Rugby union - Women’s and Māori rugby', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 December 2023)

Story by Ron Palenski, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Sep 2016