Māori Ferns aim to make Women's NRL team

By Rahia Timutimu

The NZ Women’s Māori League team are currently preparing for their match against the Aboriginal side in Australia, but their main aim is to be scouted for the new women’s equivalent of the men’s NRL competition.

The current Māori Ferns players, a team that is made up of top Māori women league players, could be future NRL players. The NRL is planning to launch a National Women's Rugby League Competition this year, which would be a huge milestone for the code, something Kiwi Ferns start Honey Hireme would love to be a part of.

“I would like to see it and be a part of the pilot programme, it’s a great opportunity for women’s rugby league in New Zealand, be nice to see the Warriors or Auckland League to back it, we have some of the best players in the world so why not back us to front this competition,” says Hireme.

The NRL is currently working through details of a female competition, a format of the game that is possible is bringing together six teams in a tournament format. Māori Ferns captain Jocephy Daniels is aware of what it could bring to her and her teammates.

 “It’s a big opportunity, hopefully, there’s some scouts watching our Māori women, it’s our time to show we’re at that level, I’m excited for myself them to give it a go,” says Daniels.

The women's game is the fastest growing area of rugby league, with participation rates up 33% across Australia last year.