Black Ferns Cook Islander Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Liana Mikaele-Tu’u, Cook Islander Maiakawanakaulani (Maia) Roos and Krystal Murray at the Punanga Nui Market. 22112806
Fresh from guiding the Black Ferns to Women’s Rugby World Cup victory, Cook Islanders who were part of the team’s campaign are here on a well-deserved break.
New Zealand Black Ferns forwards, Cook Islander
Maiakawanakaulani (Maia) Roos and Liana Mikaele-Tu'u are visiting Rarotonga for
a well-deserved holiday after winning the Women’s Rugby World Cup earlier this
The best mates made instant impacts on their first
tour against England in 2021, Roos in Northampton and Mikaele-Tu'u in Exeter.
Roos, 21, hails from the Turepu Peyroux family in the
village of Ngatangiia, her mother Tia’s brothers are Paul and Steven Peyroux.
She was nominated for Breakthrough Player of the Year in
the World Rugby awards and flew to Monaco for the event. Her team mate Ruby Tui
won the award.
Roos arrived in Rarotonga last Wednesday and ran
coaching clinic at local schools and with upcoming players alongside fellow
She said she took up rugby because “it was just
another opportunity to hang out with friends and have some fun”.
Speaking of her World Cup experience, Roos said: “I
felt really proud, especially because of how our teams turned around in the
last year … from getting beaten to winning the World Cup against the two, in semis
against France and the final against England.”
“So, it’s been really cool to see how much our team
has been able to change and grow.”
For 20-year-old Mikaele-Tu'u, who is visiting
Rarotonga for the first time, winning the World Cup “did not feel real...”
“And the best thing about rugby is probably the people
that I’ve met, I probably wouldn’t have met Maia or be here,” she added.
Mikaele-Tu’u grew up in the Hawkes Bay watching her
twin brothers Marino and Antonio play rugby.
Mikaele-Tu'u and Marino both made it into rugby’s
history books in 2021 as the first sister and brother duo to play Super Rugby –
she for the Blues, he for the Highlanders.
At the time she was playing in the World Cup, Marino
was in the Northern Hemisphere making his debut for the All Blacks XV.
On Saturday, Roos and Mikaele-Tu'u joined fellow Black
Ferns Krystal Murray and Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate at the Vodafone booth at the
Punanga Nui Market, promoting women’s rugby, signing autographs and meeting
They are here until the end of the week and will be
“back into training” when they return to New Zealand.