Beauden Barrett Gender barriers remain within New Zealand Rugby

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This story was originally published onRNZ.co.nzand is republished with permission.

Beauden Barrett Black Ferns' Kendra Cocksedge.

DAN SHERIDAN

Black Ferns’ Kendra Cocksedge.

OPINION:You’ll remember the barrier broken by the Black Ferns’ halfback in late 2018, when she was named Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year at the New Zealand Rugby awards.

That’s the prize awarded to this country’s most outstanding rugby player and which, until Cocksedge, had been exclusively won by men.

But such was the quality of her play, and the general credit she was to the Black Ferns team and entire code, that Cocksedge was the obvious choice.

You could be forgiven for missing what New Zealand Rugby (NZR) did next.

READ MORE:
* Ardie Savea, Beauden Barrett, Anton Lienert-Brown finalists for All Blacks POY
* Remarkable statistics reveal silent death of the dropped goal in New Zealand rugby
* Blood, sweat and tears propel Kendra Cocksedge to NZR player of the year

Their annual awards night coincided with the start of the New Zealand cricket team’s three-Test series against Australia. We weren’t to know how badly those matches would go, as we tuned in hopefully back on 12 December.

By the end of the evening, the absent (due to knee surgery) Ardie Savea had won most of rugby’s major prizes, including the newly-minted All Blacks Player of the Year award.

The implicit understanding had always been that the Kel Tremain award was the domain of that year’s outstanding All Black, so what did NZR do when the judges fluffed their lines in 2018? Create another cate

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