Rugby League sisters make New Zealand Maori team
Two sisters are celebrating their second year getting into a New Zealand representative team.
Even more so, since they're the only Maori girls named in national Rugby League teams in their age groups to come from South Taranaki.
Sharniqua Weston-Jacobson, 15, and sister Nadya Weston-Jacobson, 13, went away to a tournament representing Taranaki in under 15s and under 17s Maori Girls Rugby League, and came home named in the New Zealand team.
"We went to Rotorua to play in a tournament and we played and they called out the u17s New Zealand Team," Sharniqua said with a smile.
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"And I made it. "
The girls, who went to a trial and were selected for the Taranaki Maori Girls Rugby League u15s and u17s teams, went away to the New Zealand Maori Rugby League National Rangitahi Tournament in Rotorua on June 3 and 4.
Taranaki took away u15 boys, u15 girls, and u17 boys, and u17 girls teams, with about nine players making the national teams.
Nadya's u15s Taranaki team won their grade, and was awarded Best Haka too.
She was also named the Player of the Tournament in u15 girls.
Selectors watched the games at the tournament, and chose the girls to be part of their New Zealand representative teams.
This was their second year making the national teams, and mother, Bee Weston, was proud.
"Last year was the first ever year they got a pathway for girls, so normally they play rugby league up to 13 and that's it until womens," Weston said.
"So last year they introduced u15s and this year, for the first time ever, they introduced u17s."
Weston said last year the girls were among many others in South Taranaki who made the national team.
"This year they're the only two," she said.
"They're idols to some that are around here as well."
The girls see a future in sport, both playing a mix of basketball, netball, and rugby.
Nadya will play Tonga as a curtain raiser for the Kiwis versus Tongan World Cup Game at the end of the year in her u15s New Zealand Maori Girls Rugby League team. And Sharniqua's game for u17s is yet to be confirmed.