Les Elder - new captain of Waitomo Chiefs Women
Current Black Ferns loose forward and Bay of Plenty Volcanix captain, Les Elder, is adding another feather to her cap after being announced as the captain of the Waitomo Chiefs Women, the first ever New Zealand Super Rugby Women’s team.
The Taumarunui born loose forward is known for her strong leadership skills, is a natural leader who remains calm under pressure and leads by example.
The 34-year-old debuted for the Black Ferns in 2015 and was named as captain of the side in 2019. Elder took time off from the game last year to become a mother but has returned to the Black Ferns squad this year.
The newly appointed Waitomo Chiefs Women’s captain is honoured to undertake the role.
“It’s very special, and I’m very grateful to be named captain of this team,’ says Les. “What is more special is having woman wearing the Chiefs jersey for the first time. It is a milestone for women in rugby, for the game and obviously for me. I hope it is the start of something permanent.
“I just want to go out and play some good rugby, I know all the girls do too. Our time together has obviously been limited but we want to put on a display that we are proud of. At the same time being a first of its kind, we want to enjoy it, have fun, and soak up the moment for what will be a historic occasion,” says Les.
Les is excited that a dream is becoming a reality.
“It’s always been an imaginary thought you’d talk about, like a dream you wished would become a reality. It’s exciting to see it come alive in a small form. I look forward to seeing what might follow.”
Waitomo Chiefs Women Head Coach Chad Shepherd says Les was a deserving recipient of the captaincy.
“Les is an obvious and natural fit as captain of the Waitomo Chiefs Women,” says Chad. “Her professionalism and how she approaches and prepares for a game is highly regarded and admired by her teammates. She provides great leadership both on and off the field, she encapsulates Chiefs Mana.”
The historic encounter will be played as a double header before the Blues host the Gallagher Chiefs in Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa at Eden Park on Saturday May 1 at 4.35pm.
Waitomo Chiefs Women Match Information:
Fixture: Blues Women vs. Waitomo Chiefs Women, Saturday May 1, 4.45pm (NZT)
Location: Eden Park, Auckland