April Miller 'pissed off' over ban from men's rugby
July 25, 2014
April Miller is "pretty pissed off" that she can no longer play rugby in the Southland Presidents Grade senior men's competition.
Miller, 18, had played six games at lock and No.8 for Pukerau before Rugby Southland banned her from taking the field, saying it was a New Zealand Rugby directive.
Miller, the 185cm niece of former New Zealand No.8 Paul Miller, could no longer feature as the only female playing in the competition, Southland Rugby Union general manager Brian Hopley said, because the board had a responsibility to look after the welfare of players according to international rugby guidelines.
"We need to manage the risks on behalf of players and parents for the good of the game," Hopley said.
But Miller, a former Southland Under-18 women's player, said "it's quite stupid how they've only said that after I've been in the paper".
"I got some publicity and now they don't want me to play," Miller told Fairfax Media in New Zealand, noting she had not been injured during the season. "I'm pretty pissed off."
And Paul Miller had no concerns for the safety of his niece, saying "she's quite talented … everyone should be allowed to play . . . you don't want to stop people from playing".
He said that "common sense in this case should prevail" and his niece should be allowed to play. "[Pukerau] backed her to play. If the other team are OK about it, she should play."
April Miller said she had no intention of playing in a women's team, if Southland can establish a competition, because "girls are really catty, they pull hair and stuff and get wee jabs in".
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