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Numbers needed . . . The Waitaki Wahine rugby team is calling out for more players this season. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

The Waitaki Wahine are putting out a desperate plea for more players.

The North Otago female rugby team has only eight players, and needs up to 22 to be able to consistently field a team in the Dunedin club competition this season.

After the loss of a core group of players, a few pregnancies, and the inability to recruit overseas players due to Covid-19, it had been a struggle to attract the numbers needed.

Manager Paige Ayres said organisers had a deadline of a “couple of weeks” to try to recruit more players, otherwise the team could be forced to fold.

“If we don’t have a team, we don’t have much of a choice,” Ayres said.

Potential players did not require past rugby experience, and the club was looking for anybody who was willing to give the game a go.

“We’re just looking for anyone who wants to play, or wants to try. We’ve got three girls this year that have never played before – some are girls who have moved here and who have found rugby to meet new friends, and give it a shot.”

The Waitaki Wahine has consistently finished third in the Dunedin club competition, behind University and Pirates, but there had been significant player movements in Dunedin.

“It could very much be anyone’s competition this year.”

The Waitaki Wahine branched out on its own last year with its own club rooms, and was developing its own identity, Ayres said.

“That’s what we’re trying to build. A team that is somewhat consistent each year so that we can still have that culture. and keep building, and people want to be on the team because it’s fun.”

The team was coached by Bryce Robins , and trained on Monday and Wednesday nights at Centennial Park, at 6.15pm. New players were welcome to attend.

Anybody interested in playing could contact Paige Ayres at paige.ayres@hotmail.ca, on 0223039975 or through the Waitaki Wahine Facebook page.