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Former Black Ferns skipper retires from rugby

Former Black Ferns captain Les Elder has announced her retirement from rugby.

Elder, 35, made her debut for the Black Ferns in 2015 and was part of the 2017 Rugby World Cup winning team.

She took over the captaincy in 2019 playing 22 tests in all but failed to make the side for the recent World Cup in Aotearoa.

Les Elder
Photo: Photosport

She was part of the Bay of Plenty Volcanix side that won the Farah Palmer Cup championship in 2017, and captained Chiefs Manawa to the inaugural Super Rugby Aupiki title in 2022.

“I am extremely grateful for everything the game has given me and I move into life after rugby with so much excitement for what I can give to the game,” she said on social media.

“My time on the field has come to an end, but what I do off the field is only just beginning. I can’t wait.”

New Zealand Rugby’s Chris Lendrum said Elder’s contribution to the game has been immense.

“Les is a remarkable leader who has made an incredible contribution to the game both on and off the field.

“What stands above all that success is the mana and leadership she brought to women’s rugby at a crucial time in its development from the amateur to professional game,” he said.

“There have been high moments, tough times and everything in between during this period, and through it all Les led with real strength and commitment.”

Three time world cup winner Kendra Cocksedge also paid tribute to Elder.

“She is a great player and teammate, and a trusted and respected leader who we all played for. Les is always there for the team and her teammates.

She has…worked hard to advance the women’s game on and off the field and was always there for the younger players, in particular in times of need,” said Cocksedge.

-RNZ

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