Rugby-Daughter of former All Black Joseph to make New Zealand debut

  • Rugby
  • Thursday, 09 May 2024

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Quarter Final - Japan v South Africa - Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - October 20, 2019 Japan head coach Jamie Joseph during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

(Reuters) - Former All Black and coach Jamie Joseph is set to be the proud father of a New Zealand international after his daughter was selected in her maiden Black Ferns squad.

Maia Joseph was named starting scrumhalf in the match-day squad to face the United States in Hamilton on Saturday along with uncapped lock Maama Vaipulu.

Flyhalf Hannah King will also hope to make her international debut off the bench.

Maia Joseph's selection carries on the legacy of a family with deep roots in New Zealand rugby.

Her father, a tough lock and flanker, was capped 20 times for New Zealand and nine times for Japan before becoming a successful coach in Super Rugby and guiding Japan to a maiden quarter-final at their home World Cup in 2019.

Jamie Joseph's father Jim also played high-tier rugby, representing the New Zealand Maori.

Maia Joseph was recently named rookie-of-the-year for her Christchurch-based club Matatu in Super Rugby Aupiki, New Zealand's top women's domestic competition.

The 21-year-old said her father had always given her good advice without "bombarding" her with rugby wisdom.

"The help that's been the most significant is, I guess, the mental side in the sport of rugby," she told reporters.

"Especially now that it's professional and it's a job for me, that's definitely the area that's been most helpful."

The world champion Black Ferns, the most dominant team in women's international rugby, also play Canada and Australia this month in the Pacific Four series.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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