Luisa Avaiki has been named a finalist for the 2018 NEXT Magazine Woman of the Year awards.

In rugby league circles, Luisa is a legend who is known for her dedication, integrity, vision and humility.

From 1995-2009, she was a member of the Kiwi Ferns and was a part of all World Cup-winning teams (2000, 2003, 2008, being captain for two of them (2003 & 2008).

The former player and trail-blazer has been a driving force of the sport for the past two decades. Not only is she the NZRL Wellbeing & Women’s Development Manager, she has been instrumental in getting more women playing the game.

In March this year, a long-held dream of Luisa’s was realised when she became the first woman to be appointed head coach with an NRL club.

Other finalists for the 2018 NEXT Magazine Woman of the Year awards:

Sophie Devine: White Ferns Player

Natalie Taylor: Tall Ferns Co-Captain

Professor Sarah Leberman: Sports Researcher

Sarah Goss: Black Ferns Sevens Captain

Dr Malvindar Singh-Bains: Research Fellow

Dr Philippa Howden-Chapman: Professor Of Public Health

Dr Nicola Gaston: MacDiarmid Institute Co-Director

Dr Julia Rucklidge: Professor Of Clinical Psychology

Dr Jane Harding: Professor Of Neonatology