The personal life story of Kendra Cocksedge, one of the best female rugby players

The personal life story of Kendra Cocksedge, one of the best female rugby players

Kenneth Mwenda
updated at December 5, 2023 at 9:22 AM

Kendra Cocksedge’s story is one of true determination and success in the world of women’s rugby. Born in New Plymouth, New Zealand, her early passion for sport set her on a path to greatness. Known for her exceptional skill and dedication, Cocksedge has become a central figure in New Zealand’s rugby scene.

Kendra Cocksedge's age
Kendra Cocksedge poses for a portrait during the 2021 Rugby World Cup headshots session at Rydges Hotel on October 01, 2022, in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Her journey from a young, enthusiastic player to a celebrated rugby icon is not just about her athletic prowess but also about breaking barriers in a traditionally male-dominated sport. Cocksedge’s story is a source of inspiration, showing how commitment and hard work can lead to remarkable achievements.

Profile summary


Kendra Margaret Cocksedge

Date of birth

July 1, 1988


35 years (as of November 2023)

Place of birth

New Plymouth, New Zealand


1.57 meters or 5 feet 2 inches


64 kilograms


New Zealand (Kiwi)

Sports specialisation

Rugby Union and Cricket

Rugby position


Rugby debut

Canterbury debut in 2007, and Black Ferns debut the same year

Cricket career

Central Districts Hinds player, debuted at 15 years old


Attended Lincoln University on a cricket scholarship

Major achievements

Part of the 2010, 2017, and 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup winning squads, 2018 Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year, 2015 World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year

Net worth

Approximately $1.5 million as of 2023


Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2021

Social media


How old is Kendra Cocksedge?

Kendra Cocksedge is 35 years old (as of November 2023). Born on July 1, 1988, in New Plymouth, New Zealand, Kendra Cocksedge emerged as a prodigious talent in sports from a very young age.

Her journey began in the frosty mornings of Taranaki, where she first experienced the thrill of rugby, playing on the cold grounds. This early exposure sowed the seeds of passion and resilience in Cocksedge, traits that would define her career.

Kendra Cocksedge’s nationality is Kiwi. This is a fact that she carries with pride on international stages, representing the spirit and tenacity of New Zealand in every game.

Kendra Cocksedge's nationality
Kendra Cocksedge during the Matatū Super Rugby Aupiki 2022 Headshots Session at Rugby Park on February 10, 2022, in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Kai Schwoerer
Source: Getty Images

Kenra's height of 1.57 metres (5 feet 2 inches) and weight of 64 kilograms have contributed to her dynamic presence on the field. Despite not being the tallest in her team, Cocksedge’s stature has never been a barrier; instead, it has been a testament to her agility and skill that defy conventional expectations.

Kendra Cocksedge’s rugby and cricket careers

Kendra Cocksedge’s journey is marked by significant achievements in both sports. She wore the cap #100 for the Central Districts Hinds in cricket, playing 38 List A one-day matches and five Twenty20s.

Her cricket career began in the 2004-5 season. She continued until she had to choose between her two loves, ultimately dedicating her future to rugby.

Kendra’s rugby career

Kendra Cocksedge's net worth
Kendra of New Zealand kicks a conversion during the 2022 Pacific Four Series match against Australia Wallaroos at Tauranga Domain on June 6, 2022, in Tauranga, New Zealand. Photo: Andy Jackson
Source: Getty Images

In rugby, Cocksedge’s debut for Canterbury at the age of 19 was just the beginning. Her international debut for the Black Ferns against Australia in 2007 marked her ascent to the upper echelons of women’s rugby.

She has been a pivotal player in the 2010, 2014, 2017 and 2021 Rugby World Cups, contributing significantly to three New Zealand’s trophy victories. Her agility and skill as a scrum-half have been central to the Black Ferns’ successes, including their triumph in the World Cup Sevens in 2013.

Cocksedge’s final performance was in 2022. Being her fourth World Cup appearance, Cocksedge was part of the 32-player Black Ferns squad for the postponed 2021 World Cup. She played a significant role in leading the Black Ferns to their sixth World Cup victory.

Cocksedge maintains the highest record in women's rugby for first-class points, achieving 1399 across 155 matches. She stands as the initial and, to date (as of 2023), sole player to surpass the 1000-point milestone. In New Zealand's first-class rugby, she leads with the most conversions (330) and penalties (101) ever made by any player.

Did Kendra Cocksedge retire?

Following this triumph, Cocksedge retired from her career. She is the most capped Black Fern of all time and the team's record point scorer. The halfback took to social media to confirm her decision to hang up the boots after the World Cup in New Zealand.

"From the age of four, I dreamed of being an All Black until I realised it simply was not possible. However, at 19, my rugby dreams were realised, and I was named in the Black Ferns," Cocksedge said.
"After 16 years in the black jersey, I sit here and reflect on my childhood dream. I feel incredibly fortunate for the experiences rugby has given me.

Cocksedge’s personal life and partner

While Kendra Cocksedge’s professional life is an open book filled with accolades and accomplishments, her personal life, particularly regarding a partner, remains private. As of the latest information available in 2023, there are no public records or announcements concerning Cocksedge’s marital status or relationships.

Kendra Cocksedge’s achievements

Kendra Cocksedge’s list of achievements is both extensive and impressive. She was the first woman to receive the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Award for Player of the Year at the New Zealand Rugby Awards in 2018, a milestone in her career and for the women.

In December 2020, she was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, acknowledging her services to rugby. These recognitions reflect her unparalleled contributions to the sport.

Kendra Cocksedge’s net worth

Kendra Cocksedge's nationality
Kendra Cocksedge during the Farah Palmer Cup match between Canterbury and Wellington at Orangetheory Stadium on September 04, 2022, in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Peter Meecham
Source: Getty Images

Financially, Cocksedge’s success on the field translates into a significant net worth. Estimated between $1 to $7 million as of 2023, her wealth is a testament to her successful career and her role as a Women’s Rugby Development Manager at NZ Rugby. Her financial success is just as remarkable as her sporting achievements, making her a role model for aspiring athletes worldwide.

Final word

Kendra Cocksedge stands as a towering figure in women’s rugby, her story a blend of relentless passion, dedication, and exceptional talent. From the cold fields of Taranaki to the global rugby stadiums, her journey is an inspiring tale for every aspiring athlete.

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Kenneth Mwenda
Kenneth Mwenda is a business and sports writer with over five years of experience. At Sportsbrief, he contributes to writing biographies and listicles.
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