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Farah Rangikoepa Palmer ONZM (born 27 November 1972 at) is a lecturer in the Department of Management at Massey University and a former captain of New Zealand's women's national rugby union team, the Black Ferns.

Farah Palmer
Birth nameFarah Was Palmer
Date of birth (1972-11-27) 27 November 1972 (age 46)
Place of birthTe Kuiti, New Zealand
Height1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)
Weight69 kg (152 lb)
SchoolPiopio College
UniversityOtago University
Occupation(s)University academic
Rugby union career
Position(s) Hooker
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Otago University ()
Waikato University ()
Alhambra Union RFC ()
Kia Toa RFC ()
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1992–96, 1998–2000 Otago ()
1997 Waitako ()
2001–06 Manawatu ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1996–2006 New Zealand 35 (25)
Official website
Massey University

Youth and early careerEdit

Palmer was born in Te Kuiti, New Zealand and raised in Piopio. While at primary and secondary school, Palmer played netball competitively, and also participated in athletics, swimming, tennis, and cross-country.[1] Although she had played rugby socially before, Palmer started playing regularly after she moved to Otago University to study physical education.[2] She joined the University club in 1992 and that year played her first match for Otago. By 1994 she was playing regularly for Otago.[1] Originally a prop, she changed to hooker.[3]

National teamEdit

Palmer first played for New Zealand on 31 August 1996 against Australia in Sydney—a match won 28–5.[1] That year she was also appointed Otago captain, and became the captain of the Black Ferns in 1997 with a 67–0 win over England.

In 1997, Palmer moved temporarily to Hamilton and played for Waikato University club as well as representing Waikato.[1] She moved back to Dunedin in 1998 where she played for Alhambra Union. That year she captained the Black Ferns to victory in the 1998 Women's Rugby World Cup.[1] That year she was awarded Women's Player of the Year by the New Zealand Rugby Union. She completed her PhD in 2000, and in 2001 moved to Palmerston North to take up a position in sports management at Massey University. There she joined the Kia Toa rugby club. Palmer continued to captain the Black Ferns and led them to a second World Championship in 2002.[1]

In 2005, she missed her first match for the Black Ferns since 1996 due to injury.[1] That year she was awarded International Women's Personality of the Year by the International Rugby Board (IRB).[4] Representing Manawatu, she helped them earn promotion to the national women's championship in 2006, and that year captained the Black Ferns in her third World Cup. After defeating England 25–17 in the final of the 2006 World Cup Palmer announced her retirement from playing.[1] During her time as captain the Black Ferns lost only once, and her 35 Tests for the Black Ferns is the second only to Anna Richards' 40.


In 2014, she conducted research to examine how leadership and culture affect success at rugby.[5]

Palmer was one of six women inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame on 17 November 2014.[6][7]

In 2016, the Women's Provincial Championship was renamed the Farah Palmer Cup in her honour.

In 2016, she was awarded the Manawatu Standard Person of the year award and was the first woman to win the award.

Also in 2016, she was the first woman to be appointed to the board of New Zealand Rugby.[citation needed]

In 2018, Palmer won the Board and Management Award of the 2018 Women of Influence awards.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Akers, Clive. "F. R. Palmer". Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
  2. ^ Howe, Jonathon. "The world-winning ways of Farah Palmer". Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
  3. ^ *Boock, Richard (23 September 2006). "Now Farah takes on the media scrum". Retrieved 13 April 2008.
  4. ^ "Dr Farah Palmer (Lecturer)". Retrieved 13 April 2008.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Manawatu Standard, 19 May 2014, Ex-Black Fern to research our women's rugby success, Accessed 1 June 2014
  6. ^ World Rugby (10 November 2014). "2014 inductee - Farah Palmer". Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  7. ^ (19 November 2014). "Former Black Ferns Richards and Palmer inducted into Hall of Fame". Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Women of Influence awards". Stuff. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2018.

External linksEdit