TODAY |

Dutch duo make pilgrimage to New Zealand to fulfil rugby dreams

Two Dutch teenagers have made their way across the world to fulfil their dreams, playing for the Bay of Plenty Volcanix in the Farah Palmer Cup.

Lisa Egberts and Ezra Van Ramele have made the journey from the Netherlands to take their rugby careers to the next level despite already claiming a number of achievements in their burgeoning rugby careers. 

The pair represented the Netherlands in both sevens and 15s, however Egberts says the national obsession with rugby made Aotearoa the ideal destination to further her rugby career.

"Playing rugby overseas was always a dream for me and I think New Zealand is the best place to go because rugby over here is really big. So I came here to Bay of Plenty and yeah, I made it to the Volcanix," Egberts said.

Van Ramele says she is relishing the opportunity to take the field with players she used to watch back in the Netherlands.

"It's pretty special, like at home we watched the World Sevens Series and I'd see them on the TV and now we're playing with them," Van Ramele said.

Van Ramele also says there is a stark difference in the way the game is played in New Zealand.

"It's way more physical here like bigger girls and harder hits and it's way faster so yeah it's a lot different than home," she said.

Both players have set up camp right next to their home ground at Blake Park in Mt Maunganui, sharing the living space with some of New Zealand's best players, incliudng Black Ferns star Kelly Brazier, who says the pair won't miss training on her watch. 

"We actually run fitness sessions on Wednesdays so those two have no excuses cause they know I'll come knocking on their door," Brazier said.