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  
Tamara RUAPORO NGATUAKANA Wellington  
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.