Matatū has today confirmed the appointment of two assistant coaches, Whitney Hansen and Tony Christie, as well as its first five contracted players – Kendra Cocksedge, Pip Love, Steph Te Ohaere-Fox, Grace Brooker and Te Rauoriwa Gapper.
Blair Baxter, who last week was officially announced as Matatū Head Coach, said: “We are currently confirming the remainder of our playing group for Super Rugby Aupiki, which is hugely exciting for everyone involved.
“In discussing the team’s aspirations and values, it has been inspiring to hear about each player’s journey to become a professional rugby player. Dreams are being realised which is remarkable and I’m looking forward to working with these players, coaches, and our management team, to live the values of Matatū every day in our environment.”
The values and ambition behind Matatū has also been matched by the support of two national New Zealand brands.
Bayleys Canterbury has confirmed that they will be the Principal Partner of Matatū, with the Bayleys logo to appear on the front of the team’s playing jersey.
Bayleys Canterbury CEO, Pete Whalan, said: “Matatū has such an inspiring story, connected to the people and places throughout the South Island of New Zealand, and we’re thrilled to support them as they embark on a new competition next year.
“Bayleys Canterbury takes pride in our connection to the community, and we look forward to being part of this historic side and supporting their ambition to inspire the next generation of elite female rugby stars.”
The University of Canterbury (UC) will be a brand partner of the team in 2022, and will also have their logo on the playing jersey next season.
University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey said: “The University of Canterbury is committed to gender equity and social inclusion, and we are proud to support South Island wāhine competing under the Super Rugby banner. It is pleasing to see nearly a quarter of Matatū contracted so far are UC-educated wāhine, paving the way for future generations.”
UC Kaihautū Taunaki Tangata Director – Equity and Business Management, Rīpeka Tamanui-Hurunui added: “At UC, we value whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and tiakitanga, which are about valuing, empowering and caring for people and nurturing our resources. The principles of ‘Kia tika, kia pono, kia aroha - doing what is right with integrity and empathy’ underpin our values. Given what we stand for, supporting Matatū is something we are proud to do, and is a positive step on the journey of building a more equitable Ōtautahi, and wider Aotearoa.”
For the full Matatū brand story, logo suite and brand video please click here.