A key member of title-winning club and representative teams in recent seasons, Kararaina Wira-Kohu earned her Kiwi Ferns spurs against Fetu Samoa in 2020.
The front-rower moved from Papakura Sisters to Manurewa Marlins in 2017, also playing for Northern Swords that season, before earning a spot in the Māori All Stars’ side that defeated Indigenous All Stars in early-2019.
Returning to Papakura, Whangarei-based Wira-Kohu was named player of the 2019 ARL grand final after landed the match-winning conversion from sideline as the Sisters edged Richmond Roses 6-4. The former Counties Manukau rugby union rep featured in the Stingrays’ women’s nationals success and Ngāti Umutahi’s Māori rugby league nationals victory, then represented Northland Kauri in the rugby union Farah Palmer Cup, following in the footsteps of her mother, 1991 Northland rep Mary Wira.
Wira-Kohu turned out for the Māori All Stars again at the start of 2020 and was the MVP of Counties Manukau’s Sky Sports NZRL National Women’s Premiership final win over Akarana.
Starting up front alongside Papakura and Counties Manukau teammate Harata Butler, the 28-year-old Wira-Kohu was an imposing presence on debut in the Kiwi Ferns’ 28-8 win over Fetu Samoa at Mt Smart Stadium.