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"It's an Honour to Represent Our People and Culture" - McGregor

For Sydney Roosters NRLW captain Corban McGregor, the opportunity to represent her family, people and culture is what is spurring her through All Stars week

McGregor will be lining up as captain of the Women's Māori All Stars alongside fellow Roosters teammates Botille Vette-Welsh, Zahara Temara, Nita Maynard, Kennedy Cherrington and Shanice Parker in what is a proud moment for herself and her family.

While representing her Club and culture is always an exciting prospect, the chance to learn more about her Māori heritage is what has her excited most throughout the week. 

“All Stars weeks always have a variety of off-field activities that you normally don’t get to participate in with other campaigns," McGregor explained.

“At least half of the group still have a desire to learn about their heritage, so we’re trying to get as much education in as possible.

"We’ve done school visits, practised our Haka and singing - which is always fun - and we're always trying to connect and learn plenty about our culture."

Corban McGregor is one of eleven Roosters representatives in this year's Women's Indigenous All Stars clash.
Corban McGregor is one of eleven Roosters representatives in this year's Women's Indigenous All Stars clash.

Having spent the majority of her life living in Australia, with her parents hailing from Takapuna and TePuke in New Zealand, McGregor pinpointed her desire to reconnect with her culture within the camp, citing the pride within her family as her motivation.

"I’ve grown up most of my life here in Australia, but I try to connect with family in New Zealand as much as possible," she said.

“It can be hard to reconnect and get into deeper cultural learnings without being able to travel, which is why this camp is so great to learn more about myself.

"We learn about our Pepeha, which is pretty much an introduction to where we’re from and everything connects us back to our land.

The opportunity to represent your people, your culture and your heritage is why it’s so special

Corban McGregor Roosters NRLW Captain and Māori All Stars Representative

"My parents are always proud when I play for Australia, but there’s something about pulling on the Māori jersey which is special. I know there’s a deep sense of pride within my family."

Now three years into her career at the Tricolours, McGregor is ecstatic to see so many Roosters involved in the clash, with a total of 11 in the Women's match on Saturday night, which will kick-off at 5:40pm. 

“We love seeing a lot of representatives from the Roosters in these teams, it’s always great to see," she said.

“I like to think wherever I go I represent the Roosters. I’m so proud to be a part of the Club and I’ve been lucky to be here for the last three years.

“The banter’s been good between the two sides, we’ve got girls from all different NRLW clubs and it’s always a good laugh, but it’s great to have that Roosters representation in both sides.

“I’m a proud Rooster – I always will be – and the fact I can carry that badge into my other teams means a lot to me.

"It's an honour to represent our people and our culture alongside these strong
Wāhine Toa (Warrior Women)."

Corban McGregor is a natural leader in the Red, White and Blue
Corban McGregor is a natural leader in the Red, White and Blue

While she won't be in the Red, White and Blue on Saturday night, the NRLW skipper believes that the All Stars concept is one that is truly unique in Rugby League, and is one that is imperative for both cultures to be explored by players and fans alike. 

“It’s such an important game because it’s a game that allows Indigenous people - both Māori and Aboriginal - to really connect with their people and their heritage on a deeper level," McGregor elaborated.

“You don’t get that sort of feeling in other camps. You do to an extent, but this is much deeper and it comes right back to your roots.

“The opportunity to represent your people, your culture and your heritage is why it’s so special."