11 May 2023


New Zealand Rugby League is pleased to announce that the following players have been selected to represent the inaugural Ahi Kā Aotearoa in the Harvey Norman Women’s Championship in the Gold Coast from 18 May – 21 May.

The Ahi Kā Aotearoa squad comprises players selected from last year’s inaugural National Girls’ Youth Tournament, who participated in the ‘RISE’ Talent Development Programme delivered in partnership with the NRL earlier in the year.

An experienced management team accompanies the players to the Gold Coast, with former Kiwi Fern players Ake Pereira and Kath Keremete on board as an Assistant Coach and Trainer. Head Trainer Shannon Maclachlan was involved in the most recent Kiwi Ferns’ World Cup campaign, and team manager Mel Tukapua has previously managed NZ16s and NZ18s teams.


NZRL congratulates the following players:


Amarnee SHEPHERD Waikato
Ana ALLEN Northland
Charlie-Kaige KAMUHEMU Auckland
Destinee MEXTED Northland
Genesis SMITH-HURIWAI Bay of Plenty
Henilietta LOKOTUI Auckland
Ilaisaane TAUFA Auckland
Kyla LYNCH-BROWN Canterbury
Maia CRUTCHER Northland
Manea WAAKA Canterbury
Marewa SAMSON Waikato
Monica SAMITI Auckland
Monika FAKAOSILEA Auckland
Nina FAAMAUSILI Auckland
Ronise MATINI Auckland
Sade SCHAUMKEL Auckland
Sina TUITUPOU Auckland
Summer VAN GELDER Auckland
Tanaia-Aroha MERTIN-HERNIMAN Northland
Head Coach Frank FUIMAONO Auckland
Assistant Coach Ake PEREIRA Wellington
Manager Mel TUKAPUA Canterbury
Head Trainer Shannon MACLACHLAN
Assistant Trainer Kath KEREMETE Northland
Physio Melissa FALANI


Ahi Kā Aotearoa schedule


Ahi Kā Aotearoa vs First Nation’s Gems – 2.30pm NZT

Ahi Kā Aotearoa vs Qld Ruby’s – 1.30pm NZT

Ahi Kā Aotearoa vs NSW Country Women – 2.30pm NZT


Follow NZRL’s social channels to keep up with their journey throughout the competition.