Ex-Black Fern rugby captain Farah Palmer is one of New Zealand's least recognisable sports champions. 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 for a doctorate at the University of Otago and lecturing at Massey University.
In 2016, Palmer became the first woman elected to the board of New Zealand Rugby – a significant milestone for women in elite sports administration. Another female sports administrator, New Zealand-raised Raelene Castle, was the first woman to lead a major male-dominated sporting code in Australia when she became CEO of Rugby Australia at the beginning of 2018.
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