A record number of 10 female players is one of the highlights of this year's Betta Inspect It Hawke's Bay Wakely Shield tournament.
The under 50kg development event that first kicked off in 2003 to assist the development of Hawke's Bay junior rugby is currently playing out at Taradale's Tareha Park, and finishes on Friday.
Communications manager Caitlin Wakely, granddaughter of the shield's namesake, the late Adele Wakely, said the cancellation of the 2020 event made this year's competition extra special.
"There's an air of gratitude this year," she said. "The late Government announcement that spectators were allowed was great as it's had a huge impact on the players who absolutely love to have whanau and family present."
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She said the current tournament also boasted eight teams, when typically there were six.
The 17-year-old tournament was named after Adele Wakely following her 50 years of service and support to junior rugby in Hawke's Bay.
"Adele passed away an hour into the first lockdown last year, so this year is extra special as it's the first year we have run it without her."