Sarah Hirini is widely regarded as one of the best rugby sevens players in the world. She is currently a flanker for the New Zealand women’s rugby union team and New Zealand Sevens. Additionally, Hirini is also a two-time Olympic medalist and has won five National Sevens titles with Manawatū.
Born on 9 December 1992 in Feilding, New Zealand, Sarah Hirini is not the only successful sportsperson in her family. Her sister, Rachael Rakatau, plays rugby for the Manawatū Cyclones. Meanwhile her dad, Alan, was a champion shearer and her mum, Ronnie, was a master wool handler.
Her professional career began when she was studying at Massey University. While studying here, she was named in the New Zealand Sevens squad. Subsequently, she accepted a full-time one-year contract during her second year at university. As a result, Hirini became a part-time student and spent the next eight years completing her degree while competing on the international stage.
Since then, Sarah Hirini has competed in some of the world’s biggest sporting events. She was part of the winning New Zealand Sevens team at the 2013 and 2017 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments, and took second place in the 2022 competition. Additionally, she won the 2017 and 2021 Rugby World Cups. On top of this, she also took silver at the 2016 Olympics and gold at the 2020 Olympics; and a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Finally, Hirini has also won a number of prestigious awards, including the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2019. She was also the first woman to win the Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year award and the second to be named the Kelvin R Tremain Rugby Player of the Year.
Over her impressive career, Sarah Hirini has amassed a truly remarkable record and silverware collection. We can’t wait to see what she achieves next.