TODAY |

Havelock North Intermediate first XV boys open ranks to let girl play on their team


An 11-year-old Hawke's Bay girl has made another step forward in her goal to become a Black Fern.

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Briar Hales has the talent to be in the first XV, but the powers that be are preventing that happening. Source: Seven Sharp

Briar Hales was told she was not allowed to play for her school's 1st XV rugby team as her team wouldn't get any points if she took the field in a school rugby tournament today.

Five principals from schools around Hawke's Bay made the decision not to let Briar Hales from Havelock North Intermediate play.

But, having tried out for the team and gotten in as halfback, the boys were not letting her get away so easily.

Being a keen rugby player from the age of five, she has always played with the lads, saying she gets "more of a challenge" out of it. 

But the organisers of the Super Six Tournament said if she wanted to play she had to play in the Sevens, with the girls.

Briar pulled out but the boys backed her and so play she did, points forfeited but making a statement. 

And it's not only the boys backing her, she’s got the backing of the Prime Minister who sent a letter of support as well as the Sports Minister, Childrens Commissioner and a host of former Black Ferns shouting: "Let her play."

The boys call her "fearless," a "mean-as halfback" and "one of the best players in the team.""

It seems for the Havelock North Intermediate 1st XV, the boys believe, equality is the winner.