The New Zealand Rugby League  was proud to see Kiwi Ferns captain Laura Mariu named among the Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients on Monday 4 June. Laura was awarded an MNZM (Member of the New
Zealand Order of Merit) for her service to rugby league.

Following a weekend of triple celebrations that saw Mariu captain the Counties Manukau Stingrays to their ninth successive national title, and earning herself a spot on the Kiwi Ferns wider squad for October’s triple-header in Auckland, being awarded an MNZM was the icing on top.

Laura Mariu has played in all five Women’s Rugby League World Cups (2000, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2017) and subsequently boasts three time world champion status. As the captain of the Kiwi Ferns, Laura has dedicated, 17 years of her life to the game of rugby league and is role model to all young women aspiring to reach the pinnacle of our game.

Despite announcing her retirement from World Cup rugby league, Laura couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play in October’s triple-header.

“After the World Cup I thought I’d hang up the boots on my Kiwi Ferns career but I just can’t stay away.

“While my body still allows me I’m keen to play in that Kiwi Ferns jersey if they’ll have me,” she said.

For most of her working life Laura found employment which suited her rugby league career. But after the 2017 World Cup she began training at the police academy. Laura graduated in early May and is now serving
in the Counties-Manukau district.