CANTERBURY PLAYERS AND MANAGER TO FEATURE IN AHI KĀ AOTEAROA CAMPAIGN
Two Canterbury-based players have been selected to represented the inaugural Ahi Kā Aotearoa in the Harvey Norman Women’s Championship on the Gold Coast from May 18-21.
South Island Scorpions age-group representative Kyla Lynch-Brown and Manea Waaka will be part of the 20-strong Ahi Kā Aotearoa travelling squad, with the team scheduled to play matches against First Nations Gems, Queensland Rubys and NSW Country Women.
Meanwhile, Canterbury’s Mel Tukapua is the manager of the team. Tukapua has managed myriad Canterbury and South Island senior and age-group teams, as well as the New Zealand 16s and 18s.
The Frank Fuimaono-coached Ahi Kā Aotearoa squad comprises players selected from last year’s inaugural National Girls’ Youth Tournament, who participated in the ‘RISE’ Talent Development Programme delivered in partnership with the NRL earlier in the year.
An experienced staff accompanies the players to the Gold Coast, with former Kiwi Fern players Ake Pereira and Kath Keremete on board as an Assistant Coach and Trainer. Head Trainer Shannon Maclachlan was involved in the most recent Kiwi Ferns’ World Cup campaign.
Ahi Kā Aotearoa 2023 squad
Amarnee SHEPHERD | Waikato
Ana ALLEN | Northland
Charlie-Kaige KAMUHEMU | Auckland
Destinee MEXTED | Northland
Genesis SMITH-HURIWAI | Bay of Plenty
Henilietta LOKOTUI | Auckland
Ilaisaane TAUFA | Auckland
Kyla LYNCH-BROWN | Canterbury
Maia CRUTCHER | Northland
Manea WAAKA | Canterbury
Marewa SAMSON | Waikato
Monica SAMITI | Auckland
Monika FAKAOSILEA | Auckland
Nina FAAMAUSILI | Auckland
Ronise MATINI | Auckland
Sade SCHAUMKEL | Auckland
Sina TUITUPOU | Auckland
Summer VAN GELDER | Auckland
Tamara RUAPORO NGATUAKANA | Wellington
Tanaia-Aroha MERTIN-HERNIMAN | Northland
Head Coach Frank FUIMAONO | Auckland
Assistant Coach Ake PEREIRA | Wellington
Manager Mel TUKAPUA | Canterbury
Head Trainer Shannon MACLACHLAN
Assistant Trainer Kath KEREMETE | Northland
Physio Melissa FALANI