The end of amateurism is nigh but local expectation abounds as Eden Park prepares to host record crowds
On Friday, the eve of New Zealand’s first home Women’s Rugby World Cup, the last thousand tickets were evaporating. Bars around Eden Park began checking their drink stocks. Fans tried on their black-striped jerseys – the team’s first line of official apparel, finally developed last year.
“The girls have been talking, walking down the streets, and people have been saying ‘there’s the Black Ferns’,” says Kendra Cocksedge, the team’s most-capped player. “I’m getting messages from people I went to primary school with … they’re sending photos with the jersey.”