Black Ferns captain Farah Palmer throws the ball into a lineout during a Women’s World Cup match against Samoa in Edmonton, Canada, in September 2006. The Black Ferns won the game 50–0. Once described as the most successful team captain in New Zealand sport, Palmer is one of a proud sporting nation’s least recognisable champions. At the 2006 World Cup Palmer led the Black Ferns to a win in the final against England, their third successive victory in the competition.
In her 35-test career, she was on the losing side just once – a five-point loss to England in Auckland in 2001. She played for New Zealand for a decade while studying at the University of Otago, where she earned a doctorate, and lecturing at Massey University. She was also involved in provincial rugby administration in Manawatū and in 2016 became the first woman appointed to the board of New Zealand Rugby.
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Photograph by Paul Seiser
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