Jillaroos debutant Tazmin Gray proud to represent iwi
International league debutant Tazmin Gray may be pulling on the green and gold jersey come Saturday's Auckland test between the Kiwi Ferns and Australian Jillaroos, but she's no less proud to be able to represent her iwi.
"Honestly, sometimes I feel like a bit of a 'plastic' but I know that I'm from Ngāti Toa so for me I feel honoured to represent them and my family."
The Australian-born Māori is one of six debutants for the Jillaroos. She says the decision to represent the country came from the heart.
"For me it was just to be able to play for a country that's given back to me, and I grew up there and I was born there, so I just thought it was best for me to be able to play for a country where my heart lies, and that's Australia."
Gray won't be the only one of her whānau to be playing on the day - brother Jordan Rapana plays for the Kiwis. She says that while they're playing for two different countries, they're supportive of each other.
"We message each other back and forth, here and there, but obviously we're both in two separate camps so we got a job to do for our teams. So when I get the time, I do message him and I'm just grateful that he's here and he's been able to support me as I am of supporting him."
The Jillaroos v Kiwi Ferns test kick off at 3pm, the first game of the trans-Tasman triple header on Saturday at Mt Smart Stadium.