Farah Rangikoepa PalmerONZM (born 27 November 1972 at Te KuitiNew Zealand) is a lecturer in the Department of Management at Massey University and a former captain of New Zealand's women's national rugby union team, the Black Ferns.


Palmer was born in Te Kuiti and raised in Piopio. While at primary and secondary school, Palmer played netball competitively, and also participated in athletics, swimming, tennis, and cross-country.[1] Although she had played rugby socially before, Palmer started playing regularly after she moved toOtago University to study physical education.[2] She joined the University club in 1992 and that year played her first match for Otago. By 1994 she was playing regularly for Otago.[1] Originally a prop, she changed to hooker.[3] She first played for New Zealand on 31 August 1996 against Australia inSydney—a match won 28–5.[1] That year she was also appointed Otago captain, and became the captain of the Black Ferns in 1997 with a 67–0 win over England.

In 1997, Palmer moved temporarily to Hamilton and played for Waikato University club as well as presenting Waikato.[1] She moved back to Dunedin in 1998 where she played for Alhambra Union. That year she captained the Black Ferns to victory in the 1998 Women's Rugby World Cup.[1] That year she was awarded Women's Player of the Year by the New Zealand Rugby Union. She completed her PhD in 2000, and in 2001 moved to Palmerston North to take up a position in sports management at Massey University. There she joined the Kia Toa rugby club. Palmer continued to captain the Black Ferns and led them to a second World Championship in 2002.[1]

In 2005, she missed her first match for the Black Ferns since 1996 due to injury.[1] That year she was awarded International Women's Personality of the Year by the International Rugby Board (IRB).[4] Representing Manawatu, she helped them earn promotion to the national women's championship in 2006, and that year captained the Black Ferns in her third World Cup. After defeating England 25–17 in the final of the 2006 World Cup Palmer announced her retirement from playing.[1] During her time as captain the Black Ferns lost only once, and her 35 Tests for the Black Ferns is the second only to Anna Richards' 40.

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