New Zealand: Crystal Kaua

Crystal Kaua to share life-changing rugby experience at the Gallagher High Performance Academy.

Former Aotearoa Maori lock, Crystal Kaua, has benefited from her involvement in rugby and now wants to give others similar opportunities.

Crystal Kaua enjoyed a successful playing career, which included representing the New Zealand Maori sevens team and playing provincial rugby for both Auckland and Waikato. But it is as a coach that she has truly excelled.

She formed an effective team with her husband, Brent, as joint coaches of Auckland and Cook Islands’ women’s sevens teams, before a successful four-year spell in charge of the Mie Pearls in Japan.

The Kauas are now back in New Zealand, where Crystal is Head Coach of Chiefs Manawa and Skills Coach and Performance Analyst for the Black Ferns sevens team, where she is committed to giving players the opportunities she enjoyed.

“For me, rugby serves is a vehicle to change lives. I coach for those moments, when all the pieces of the puzzle come together.”

Kaua’s involvement in the Gallagher High Performance Academy has been a rewarding experience; she feels that improving the visibility of women in high-performance roles is crucial for breaking gender stereotypes and highlighting that women can excel in leadership roles.

“As I walked out of the box for the France game, I had someone in the crowd calling my name. When I went over to say hello, and not knowing who this person was, she reached out and said: ‘I saw you coaching the Cook Islands team many years ago and that inspired me to become a coach’.

“Within her culture, it wasn't usual for females to coach; to think she started coaching because she saw me coaching is special. That moment is going to be one that sticks with me forever” she said.

Kaua also expressed how she feels it is now her responsibility to keep inspiring young women to get into rugby and coaching, in order to grow the game.

“It's always been quite challenging to put yourself out there, but the Academy highlighted how important it is; how it’s our responsibility as women in the game at the highest level to increase media attention, those connections and visibility.”

Last updated: Mar 28, 2024, 2:20:32 PM