Teuila Pritchard named to make Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby Women’s Debut

Thu, Mar 14, 2024, 5:23 AM
Rugby Vic Media
by Rugby Vic Media

The two-time Lindroth Cup Premiership Player and reigning Alana Thomas Medal recipient will start on the wing this Friday night against the Western Force at HBF Park.  

Hailing from the Eagle’s Nest in Endeavour Hills, 24-year-old Pritchard will become Rebel number 115 when she takes the field with jersey 11 on her back in Perth on Friday night. 

Since arriving on the Victorian Rugby scene in 2022, ‘Ila’ has shown a willingness to learn, adapt her game and become a leader, most recently captaining her Lindroth Cup side Endeavour Hills to back-to-back premierships as well as the Victorian State Women’s Team at the Australian Rugby Shield.  

Teuila Pritchard - 2023 WRDA Lindroth Cup

Speaking on the opportunity to debut with the Rebels as they commence their 2024 campaign, Pritchard said she is pinching herself at the thought of running out on Friday night. 

“Playing rugby growing up, you look to your idols on television playing rugby and you think to yourself maybe one day that could be you,” she said.  

“For it to actually come to fruition is still surreal.” 

A fullback by trade, Pritchard remains unphased lining up on the wing for the Rebels, forming a back-three with club teammate Harmony Vatau and Chanelle Kohika-Skipper.  

“Coming from the back where you can see everything unfold and starting on the wing, you have this expectation in your mind of what your fullback wants from you,” she said.  

Pritchard credits her rise to cracking into the Rebels Super Rugby Women’s Squad to her club coach at Endeavour Hills, Presley Naea.  

“When it comes to micro-skills and the finer details, (Presley) is big on that,” she said.  

“He is definitely one of the biggest influences in my game, alongside my close circle – Endeavour Hills teammates, my partner and my family.” 

When asked about ‘Ila’, Naea had nothing but praise for his club champion, highlighting her growth both on and off-field as a testament to her as a person.  

“Ila is a quiet achiever who leads through her actions,” Naea said.  

“With a heart full of passion for the sport, Ila always puts her body on the line for her teammates. She embodies what it means to be a true team player - a fighter with an unrelenting drive to compete and never back down. 

“Coaching her has been a pleasure; seeing what she's achieved fills me with pride and joy. Along with her Endeavour family, we recognize her tireless efforts leading up to this moment.” 

Teuila Pritchard & Presley Naea - 2023 WRDA Lindroth Cup Grand Final

Pritchard has no shortage of support for her debut, with Naea, fellow teammates, family and friends and the Endeavour Hills community right behind her.  

“To say proud is an understatement, we have faith in her capabilities and are confident she will give it her all,” Naea said.  

“We believe she will do a great job representing herself, us, and most importantly her family.  

“Good luck Ila’, and the rest of the team. Go well and go hard!”

On behalf of Rugby Victoria, the Melbourne Rebels and Victorian Rugby community, we wish Teuila Pritchard all the best for her debut! 

Tune into Stan Sport from 7:30PM AEDT to see the Melbourne Rebels take on the Western Force in Round 1 of the 2024 Super Rugby Women's season!

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