Olympic hero commits to Chiefs
Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Ruby Tui has been named in the 2022 Chiefs Women’s squad for the upcoming Super Rugby Aupiki competition.
The Black Ferns Sevens star, who became a global hit for her candid interview style during the Olympics this year, was the 2019 World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year and has been a regular feature of the Black Ferns Sevens squad since her debut in 2012.
The 29-year-old is known for her tireless work at the breakdown, physicality and her natural leadership, inspiring others through her on field performances.
Tui says the Chiefs Rugby Club’s unique culture and mana was a key factor in her decision to join the club.
“Culture is huge for me, so the main attraction to the Chiefs Rugby Club was definitely their culture,” she says.
“I think the club has a huge amount of mana, I’ve played a lot of footy around the country, been involved in a lot of teams, even internationally but to me the Chiefs hold something really special. They don’t just talk it, they walk it.”
Tui is now eager to take to the field for the Chiefs Women’s team after watching the historic encounter between the Blues and the Chiefs female sides earlier this year at Eden Park.
“Watching that game earlier in the year and understanding how important culture is, especially with Allan Bunting at the helm, there’s just no way I could look past the Chiefs,” she says.
“They’re the whole package and the words ‘mana’ and ‘culture’ are super important to me and my rugby. To me the off-field is just important as the on-field and I think the Chiefs are probably leading that women’s space at the moment, so I’m so excited.”
Now she is getting excited at the opportunity to learn and develop her fifteens game under the guidance of Chiefs head coach Allan Bunting, who co-coached the Black Ferns to their Tokyo triumph, and Black Ferns captain Les Elder.
“I’m just here to learn,” she says.
“I first started women’s rugby in 2010 at Canterbury Uni and it was fifteens that I started in. I feel like I’ve had to push pause on that for a long time now but I’m ready to learn and give everything. I’m ready to soak it all up and I believe the Chiefs team is the best place to do that.”
Bunting says Tui’s professionalism and passion for the game is invaluable.
“It’s exciting to have Ruby as part of our Chiefs squad for 2022,” he says.
“She walks the walk in all aspects of what it takes to be a professional sportsperson. She will have a massive influence within our squad both on and off the field and I do look forward to walking alongside her once again.”
Chiefs Rugby Club CEO Michael Collins is thrilled to have Tui named in the squad.
“Ruby is an exceptional athlete and has been an integral part of the Black Ferns Sevens squad,” he says.
“Her powerful running ability, commitment on defence and love for the game is outstanding. Off the field her sharp and witty personality is contagious and we are excited for what that will bring.
“She will be an exciting player for our fans to watch and be entertained by and I can’t wait to see her take the field for the Chiefs Women in the upcoming Super Rugby Aupiki competition.”
2022 Super Rugby Aupiki squads are scheduled to be announced later this week. Chiefs Memberships are on sale now at www.chiefs.co.nz and include a Chiefs Women home match.