Rugby Union

April Miller banned from men's rugby

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April Miller has gone against the grain and pushed into her community's men's senior rugby team in New Zealand, but since her story has been publicised Miller has been banned from playing the men's game by the 18-year-old's own community.

This was a great moment for rugby mainly because it was a test against the limits and considering April Miller couldn't play in the women's team, because one didn't exist, this didn't stop the second row playing for Pukerau Rugby Club.

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Historic moment

In a recent interview with, Miller spoke of how she just wanted to get into the game, and at first thought it was a joke.

"I thought I feel like playing rugby again so I asked if I could play and they said 'yes'. I thought they were only joking but they weren't. They found me a jersey and we went from there."

This has been a great moment in rugby, mainly because it is testing the boundaries of the sport as the 18-year-old was able to play so long without being noticed as a female, and this proved she could handle herself in the men's game.

The case being if she could handle herself, she should be allowed to play at a senior level.
It seems that only recently this has been brought to the community's attention and they have had to take action which wasn't necessary.


Considering she is the niece Paul Miller was a back-row for New Zealand, Rugby Southland community manager Don McFarlane spoke to ESPN, and understood her passion for the game but believed the men's game isn't safe for her, and this ban is for her own protection.

"From an official perspective there should be no girls playing at that level in a men's team," McFarlane said.

"It is for her protection and it's for the protection of all players. We need to manage the risks on behalf of players and parents for the good of the game."

The safety of Miller is important, as stated by McFarlane going on to comment how women should stop playing the men's game after a primary school level, but again if they can handle themselves in a men's game then they should be allowed to play.


This was a controversial matter on both sides, as Miller cannot play the men's game anymore, and considering there is no female rugby team where can the 18-year-old expose her talents?

Miller played second-row for Pukerau in Southland, as current recognisable players like Joe Launchbury, Martin Johnson and current All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock all have played in this position.

The lock is a commanding role and the person in contention has to put their bodies on the line and be strong in their tackles and in the scrums, so for Miller to play in this position is a decision that deserves respect.

She is doing what she loves, as she must know there are dangers in the sport because why else would the 18-year-old carry on playing rugby, especially in the men's game.

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