Our Sos gets new car to spread her influence

By Jared Smith

She is not the biggest poster to Instagram or Twitter, but eight-test Black Fern Sosoli Talawadua loves the flash new car that comes with being a “local influencer”.

Ford NZ, one of the major sponsors of New Zealand rugby, has run a national campaign to find influencers in the code to provide them with a 2021 vehicle, and Murray O’Hara, the new Ford sales director of Wanganui Motors, was able to hand the WRFU development officer the keys to the Ford Escape ST.

“I put the letter together and it was accepted. There was only a few approved around the country and we were lucky enough to be one of them,” O’Hara said.

Since she returned home from the Waikato two seasons ago, Talawadua has overseen the local growth of the women’s game, which includes the 10-a-side schools competition, St Johns Club Whanganui Metro playing in the MRU Women’s grade, and the return of a representative squad.

 “It’s been cool to be back, working with some of the girls, and to hear of other girls that have come back to the region like Lavenia Nauga-Grey – who was with Taranaki, and she moved back here,” said Talawadua.

“She’s been helping me out with recruiting girls, helping us find some players.”

While Talawadua has driven Ford-sponsored cars before, the Escape ST has been the envy of her fellow WRFU development officers Tyrone Kemp and Simon Dibben.

“This one feels a lot more hi-tech, feels like it’s out of the box. It’s real nice to drive, got a lot of space in there for me to put all the gear in.

“I’ve taken the boys out a couple of times, we’ve gone over the schools, and they’re like ‘aw, take your car, eh Sos?”

O’Hara said his company is proud to be associated with Talawadua in promoting women’s rugby in the province.

“We have been a long time sponsor of Whanganui Rugby and this opportunity to link with local influencer ‘Sos’ is perfect for the Ford brand.

“Her outstanding achievements in reach her goals to become a Black Fern are an inspiration to all our local women rugby players.

“Under Sos’ guidance, they have the opportunity to enjoy rugby and be the best they can be in chasing their goals.

“The new Ford Escape ST will enable Sos to reach all corners of the union in style and comfort whilst showcasing the Ford brand, who also sponsor our All Blacks national team.”