Nita Maynard’s first major impression on the sporting landscape was in the green and gold of the
Australian rugby union side. But the diminutive livewire wasted little time in snaring a black-and-
white jumper after switching codes in 2017.
The NSW star played six Tests for the Wallaroos and also represented the Australian Sevens team.
Gisborne-born Maynard’s efforts for the Cronulla Sharks in 2017 were enough to secure a place in
the Kiwi Ferns’ Rugby League World Cup squad. She nailed down the No.14 spot – providing hooker
and halves coverage – and featured in the valiant loss to the Jillaroos in the final.
Maynard earned a contract with Sydney Roosters for the inaugural 2018 NRLW premiership, playing
all four games for the eventual runners-up. She then started at hooker in New Zealand’s 26-24 loss
to Australia in Auckland.
With Krystal Rota back in the No.9, Maynard reverted to the bench for the Ferns’ mid-2019 clash
with Fetu Samoa. But she starred in 50 minutes of game-time, racking up 97 metres and 22 tackles
as well as scoring a try.
The 27-year-old started all three matches at hooker for the Roosters in the 2019 NRLW – averaging
38 tackles – before scoring the match-winning try in the Kiwi Ferns’ upset of the Jillaroos in the
World Cup Nines final. Maynard made a busy 15-minute contribution off the bench in the
subsequent Test loss to Australia in Wollongong.