A Prayer Answered, Edmonds and Baker off to France for World Cup


Story courtesy of College Sport Media

When the All Blacks head to the Rugby World Cup in September they won’t be the only Kiwis in France trying to win important silverware.

Nate Baker (Ngāpuhi) and Prayer Edmonds (Ngāti Porou) from Mana College will be representing New Zealand at the inaugural Rugby Heritage Cup to be held in Pontlevoy, France.

The Rugby Heritage Cup is a rugby and educational experience designed as a U15 Rugby 7’s tournament which will include some 700 male and female players from more than 20 countries. Each country that has qualified for the Rugby World Cup is invited to enter a team.

New Zealand’s participation is paid for by the New Zealand Rugby Players Association.

The Rugby Heritage Cup is a celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the start of rugby and according to tournament organisers, “a time for exchange, discovery, and friendship between schools and young people.”

Besides the rugby tournament team building exercises like a cooking competition and roll play will be staged to help “gain confidence,” “celebrate diversity” and “develop a taste for getting3 to know different people and situations.”

The event is sponsored by a bank, nationwide recruitment firm, and cereal company, and has the backing of 1987 All Blacks World Cup-winning captain David Kirk.

Baker and Edmonds were almost speechless when trying to capture their excitement at being selected for New Zealand.

“I’m excited,” Baker said.

 “It’s too much.”

Edmonds agreed, “It’s amazing,” she said.  

The shy but polite pair are more naturally expressive on the rugby field. Edmonds is a first-five, midfielder or fullback with swift feet, nimble hands, and an eye for a gap.

Baker is also a utility back. His cousin Sione Baker is a member of the Southland Rugby Academy.

“I grew up watching Dan Carter and Riche Mo’unga play ten, I really like them,” Baker said.

Unsurprisingly Edmonds and Baker share a favourite subject.

“I like PE, just PE,” Baker laughed.

Edmonds quickly stressed she is good at Maths and English.

What about French?

“Bonjour,” Edmonds answered.

“Dupont” (champion French halfback), Baker added.

Baker and Edmonds aren’t the only Wellington players attending the tournament. Nelson Tiumalu (St Patrick’s College Town), Toby McFarlane (Scots College), Brooke Jones (Scots College), Seren Mawby (Newlands College) and Paige Rarere-Lester (Wellington East Girls’ College) are also attending. The team is coached by former Scots College Rugby Director Sam Rasch. He won three Premier I Championships.



Article added: Friday 04 August 2023


Latest News