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New Zealand sevens star Ruby Tui will ply her trade in the 15s game from next year, having signed for Super Rugby Aupiki club Chiefs.
Tui started her career in 15s rugby but quickly switched to the sevens circuit, making her New Zealand debut in 2012. She went on to win a silver Olympic medal in 2016, gold at the Tokyo Games, the 2018 sevens World Cup and was named world sevens player of the year in 2019.
The timing of her move may excite fans as the postponed Rugby World Cup is taking place in New Zealand in 2022. Tui could target another medal for her collection, but it’s unclear if she will switch codes internationally.
“Culture is huge for me, so the main attraction to the Chiefs Rugby Club was definitely their culture,” Tui said.
“I think the club has a huge amount of mana [honour, spiritual power]. I’ve played a lot of footy around the country, been involved in a lot of teams, even internationally, but to me the Chiefs hold something really special. They don’t just talk it, they walk it.”
The star will link up with former Black Ferns sevens coach Allan Bunting at the Chiefs. She added that the appeal to sign for the club came to life when she watched them play the Blues at Eden Park earlier this year.
“Watching that game earlier in the year and understanding how important culture is, especially with Allan Bunting at the helm, there’s just no way I could look past the Chiefs.”
Tui became a household name in New Zealand at the recent Tokyo Olympics after a video of a post-match interview went viral. She then added to her internet fame by recording a selfie video reacting to Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg’s praise of the Black Ferns’ Haka.