World Cup blow to former Gisborne girl

KIWI-CUM-AUSSIE: Evelyn Horomia and mother Doris Sadlier-Horomia, a well-known netball personality in Gisborne for many years. Horomia made the Australia women’s rugby team only for injury to shatter her dream just days out from the start of the women’s world cup. Picture supplied

AN Australian women’s player with a strong Gisborne connection has been dealt a devastating blow on the eve of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

Wallaroo rookie Evelyn Horomia, who originates from Gisborne, suffered a calf muscle injury in training earlier this week which has ended her world cup tournament before the opening whistle.

Horomia is the daughter of former Gisborne couple Doris Sadlier-Horomia and Alf Horomia. Doris was a well-known personality on the Gisborne netball scene for many years.

Evelyn attended Mangapapa School before the family shifted to Hamilton about 20 years ago.

She now lives in Sydney and her parents are in Brisbane.

Known as “the bulldozing beauty”, Horomia made her test debut against England during the international women’s rugby series in New Zealand in June.

The two-test 31-year-old was named as a prop in the Wallaroos Rugby World Cup squad and last week headed to Ireland with the squad.

But her mother told The Gisborne Herald this week that her daughter suffered a cup-ending calf injury in training after unofficially being named as a starter for Australia’s opening pool game against Ireland.

“I feel for Evie,” said Doris. “She was devastated when management gave her the news after they reviewed an MRI scan.

“She has worked so hard over the last eight months and was only added to the Wallaroos’ extended training squad in March.”

Rugby World Cup rules require teams to have six props available. Australia took over six and the injury to Horomia meant they had to replace her immediately.

It would have taken her three weeks to recover — meaning she would miss probably three matches.

“If it was for one game it would have been OK but three games was too many,” said her mother.

She decided to stay with the team until after the Ireland game then return home to Australia.

“Evelyn’s coaches have told her they want her to go home get her body right because there will be more test next year, and they want her back in the team.”

In a Facebook post, Horomia said her cup-ending injury was “a devastating blow”.

“I was emotional and heartbroken and everything was going a million miles per hour in my mind. After being consoled by the amazing Wallaroos staff and speaking to my parents, I can bravely say whilst I am devastated, I am OK and ready to support my girls who have been nothing but amazing these last couple of days.

“This may not be my time but thank you again to everyone who has believed and supported me leading up to the world cup.”

She paid tribute to her parents.

“Thank you for being the backbone to my rugby career. Without you both I don’t think I could have ever been where I am in rugby.

“This is not the end for my rugby dream ... I will come back bigger, stronger and better.”

Horomia was a top netballer in New Zealand and Australia before the oval ball became her No.1 sport.

A wing attack-goal attack, she excelled on court in Hamilton. She played for Waikato through all age groups up to national championship level for Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, represented New Zealand at secondary school and under-21 level and also played for Aotearoa Maori.

Horomia shifted to Brisbane at the end of 2008 — her parents followed in 2009 — and she played five seasons for Gold Coast in the Queensland state league.

She got into rugby sevens during the off-season at the Sunnybank Rugby Union Club and from there went on to play the 15s game as well.

A powerful No.8, she made the Queensland sevens and 15s teams then moved to Sydney a couple of years ago and played for the Warringah Ratettes in the Sydney club competition and for Sydney at national level.

Her mother said the Sydney switch “made the biggest difference” to her career.

“Her Sydney and Warringah club coach Rob Baumann said if she wanted to make the Aussie team, she would have to convert to tighthead prop.”

She heeded that advice and continued her drive towards international selection, racking up various successes along the way.

She was a member of the Sydney team who won the national women’s championship in May, scoring a try in Sydney’s 34-0 win over ACT in the final. Her Warringah team last month upset favourites Sydney University 21-17 in the Sydney women’s club final.

In a recent story in the Manly Daily, Horomia spoke of balancing her job as a carer with her rugby.

“I work with people of any age who have a disability as a carer,” she said. “I do sleepovers or day shifts, it is very rewarding.”

Rugby provided her an outlet for what could be a physically and mentally challenging career.

“Rugby is a sport with a good environment and good people,” she said. “It is good just to play rugby and forget about everything else that is going on in your life.”

  • Australia lost to Ireland 19-17 in their world cup opening match this morning. France and Japan are also in their pool.

AN Australian women’s player with a strong Gisborne connection has been dealt a devastating blow on the eve of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

Wallaroo rookie Evelyn Horomia, who originates from Gisborne, suffered a calf muscle injury in training earlier this week which has ended her world cup tournament before the opening whistle.

Horomia is the daughter of former Gisborne couple Doris Sadlier-Horomia and Alf Horomia. Doris was a well-known personality on the Gisborne netball scene for many years.

Evelyn attended Mangapapa School before the family shifted to Hamilton about 20 years ago.

She now lives in Sydney and her parents are in Brisbane.

Known as “the bulldozing beauty”, Horomia made her test debut against England during the international women’s rugby series in New Zealand in June.

The two-test 31-year-old was named as a prop in the Wallaroos Rugby World Cup squad and last week headed to Ireland with the squad.

But her mother told The Gisborne Herald this week that her daughter suffered a cup-ending calf injury in training after unofficially being named as a starter for Australia’s opening pool game against Ireland.

“I feel for Evie,” said Doris. “She was devastated when management gave her the news after they reviewed an MRI scan.

“She has worked so hard over the last eight months and was only added to the Wallaroos’ extended training squad in March.”

Rugby World Cup rules require teams to have six props available. Australia took over six and the injury to Horomia meant they had to replace her immediately.

It would have taken her three weeks to recover — meaning she would miss probably three matches.

“If it was for one game it would have been OK but three games was too many,” said her mother.

She decided to stay with the team until after the Ireland game then return home to Australia.

“Evelyn’s coaches have told her they want her to go home get her body right because there will be more test next year, and they want her back in the team.”

In a Facebook post, Horomia said her cup-ending injury was “a devastating blow”.

“I was emotional and heartbroken and everything was going a million miles per hour in my mind. After being consoled by the amazing Wallaroos staff and speaking to my parents, I can bravely say whilst I am devastated, I am OK and ready to support my girls who have been nothing but amazing these last couple of days.

“This may not be my time but thank you again to everyone who has believed and supported me leading up to the world cup.”

She paid tribute to her parents.

“Thank you for being the backbone to my rugby career. Without you both I don’t think I could have ever been where I am in rugby.

“This is not the end for my rugby dream ... I will come back bigger, stronger and better.”

Horomia was a top netballer in New Zealand and Australia before the oval ball became her No.1 sport.

A wing attack-goal attack, she excelled on court in Hamilton. She played for Waikato through all age groups up to national championship level for Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, represented New Zealand at secondary school and under-21 level and also played for Aotearoa Maori.

Horomia shifted to Brisbane at the end of 2008 — her parents followed in 2009 — and she played five seasons for Gold Coast in the Queensland state league.

She got into rugby sevens during the off-season at the Sunnybank Rugby Union Club and from there went on to play the 15s game as well.

A powerful No.8, she made the Queensland sevens and 15s teams then moved to Sydney a couple of years ago and played for the Warringah Ratettes in the Sydney club competition and for Sydney at national level.

Her mother said the Sydney switch “made the biggest difference” to her career.

“Her Sydney and Warringah club coach Rob Baumann said if she wanted to make the Aussie team, she would have to convert to tighthead prop.”

She heeded that advice and continued her drive towards international selection, racking up various successes along the way.

She was a member of the Sydney team who won the national women’s championship in May, scoring a try in Sydney’s 34-0 win over ACT in the final. Her Warringah team last month upset favourites Sydney University 21-17 in the Sydney women’s club final.

In a recent story in the Manly Daily, Horomia spoke of balancing her job as a carer with her rugby.

“I work with people of any age who have a disability as a carer,” she said. “I do sleepovers or day shifts, it is very rewarding.”

Rugby provided her an outlet for what could be a physically and mentally challenging career.

“Rugby is a sport with a good environment and good people,” she said. “It is good just to play rugby and forget about everything else that is going on in your life.”

  • Australia lost to Ireland 19-17 in their world cup opening match this morning. France and Japan are also in their pool.
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