A Canterbury star in both rugby codes, Charntay Poko’s shift to the ARL club scene in 2019
catapulted her into the Kiwi Ferns and Warriors NRLW line-ups.
The slick playmaker was a linchpin of the dominant Papanui Tigers side in the Canterbury Rugby
League women’s premiership, as well as simultaneously representing her province in the 13- and 15-
Poko was named in the Warriors’ inaugural squad in 2018, but she was ruled out of the campaign
after it was revealed she had two broken tibias – stress fractures that had developed into full breaks.
But she recovered in time for the 2019 ARL club season, flying from Christchurch to Auckland every
week to play for Richmond Roses, including their grand final loss to Papakura Sisters. Poko kicked
four goals and produced a try-assist on Test debut in the Kiwi Ferns’ mid-season defeat of Fetu
The 23-year-old was then one of the standouts of the 2019 NRLW premiership. Immediately
garnering attention for her prodigious kicking game, Poko booted a 40-30 that led to the Warriors’
first try in the Round 1 win over Sydney Roosters. She was nominated for the Dally M Women’s
Player of the Year award.
Poko was part of New Zealand’s victorious World Cup Nines squad, while she retained the No.6
jersey for the subsequent Test loss to Australia.