Women in Rugby: Rebecca Liua’ana

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Photo: Reef Reid

Rebecca Liua’ana. A name known to most, if not all around the Wellington rugby scene. From the clubrooms of Oriental Rongotai to the Black Ferns, she is an icon of our game. 

Becs has done it all when it comes to her achievements as a player. She was a part of the 2006 Wellington team that defeated Auckland in the NPC final and has won a Women’s Rugby World Cup with the Black Ferns in 2002. 

Making her test debut in 1999 against the USA in Palmerston North still goes down as one of the most memorable moments in Becs’ career, and the emotion at the time is still felt today.

“Wearing the black jersey, singing the national anthem and looking up and seeing my family in the stands, especially my mum was a very emotional moment.”

After such an illustrious career, it is the pure love of the game that keeps her involved. Thanking the game for making her into the person she is today.

“My love for rugby is on the field. The hard hits, the tackles, rucks and mauls, and rolling around in the mud. Instead of being worried about the ruck marks and bruises on the back of my legs, I was proud of them, to remind me how tough I am and how tougher I can be.

Rugby has made me the person I am today, a team player, leader, follower, as well as teaching me toughness and a lot of life skills. I have achieved a lot in my rugby career, and it was a lot of work to reach my goals, but it was well worth it!”

Now off the field, Becs is the manager for the Premier side at Ories, and each year works as a Liaison Officer when the 7s series comes to New Zealand. 

On top of all the success, Wellington Rugby named the Women’s Round 1 Division 1 trophy after her.

“I never expected that, I remember getting the call from WRFU telling me they were naming it after me. I was speechless, I asked them if they were sure.

Having this cup named after me is an honour. I feel that my services to rugby have been honoured with all my hard work and sacrifices I had to make both on and off the field at all levels.

This means a lot to me and my family as we’re a rugby-mad family. I wish Dad was alive to see what I have achieved, he would have been the happiest man in the world having our name on a WRFU cup.” 

Last weekend the Rebecca Liua’ana Cup came to a close, with Ories defeating Norths 33-31 to win the title. Becs was on hand to present the trophy and is honoured with the privilege of being there to present her own trophy. 

“I will always make time to do this if I am able to. It was even more special because I got to present it to our Ories ladies. Hopefully, I can keep presenting the trophy for as long as I can, as it is also good for our players to see the person who the cup is named after.”