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In women’s rugby, I’m old news…

Rugby was my childhood sweetheart, I don’t remember the time before we knew each other. Rugby was always there, at the family gatherings, on the playground, in conversation. It was rugby I’d stay up to try and see, who would eventually rock me to sleep to the sound of bodies colliding and the cheering crowd.

As I grew, my love for the game did too. It took me all over Aotearoa and the world, meeting a range of different characters who shaped the woman I have become. However, I would soon come to find that while I loved rugby, rugby didn’t always love me back.

And so in 2020, as the world was reckoning with a pandemic, I found myself yelling on the news. I had used my voice and helped amplify others in my mahi as a community organiser but now was the time to speak plain to my experiences in our national game.

Since then, I have co-hosted an interview series on Sky Sport (Loosehead Footy), been a regular columnist for The Lockerroom and The New Zealand Herald. I have had pieces published in The Spinoff, The Sunday Star Times, The Herald on Sunday and more recently The Guardian. I have given interviews to The New York Times, Radio New Zealand, The AM Show, Newstalk ZB, SENZ and Mai FM. I have become a member of the Strategic Advisory Group and now Trustee for Women in Rugby Aotearoa.

Now this accidental commentator is attempting to be a bit more intentional about my purpose. I want to change the game by connecting and championing our game changers. As Jo Bostock said it, I want to be the “provocative glue”.

So this is just the start, let’s see how far we can grow. Game on.

Liela Hamilton-Dakar 1.jpg

I’m here to get women’s sport over the advantage line.

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