First female captain in the Ross Shield competition

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Kahlia Awa has been named the first female captain in the 115 year history of The Ross Shield, a pinnacle of primary school rugby in Hawke's Bay that has started the career of many All Blacks.

The thirteen-year -old from Flaxmere, the first female captain in the Ross Shield competition.

“It meant a lot to me, it was like a pile of gold to me and I had been training hard for it.”

Hastings West Coach Anthony Easson, “For me Kahlia's kind of a bit like Richie McCaw to be honest she's a real leader on the field, mainly due to her actions she never gives up she's a real hard rugby player she loves getting in there and taking on the boys but it's also the off field stuff as well.”

A gutsy player that lead her Hastings West team to win the Ross Shield.

Awa says, “It was mean our whole team worked hard for it and we earned it, the draw was weird, our last game we had wairoa and they were a strong team, and we beat them, 75-0.”

Easson says, “She is really well mannered, which comes from her it’s just the way in which she conducts herself. She gets stuck into the boys, if they do something wrong she's very quick to give them the boot up the you know what and pull them back into line.”

She's been playing the sport since she was four years old, something she says she owes a lot to her father.

Kahlia’s father Duane Awa, “She's quite competitive in anything that she does whether it is basketball netball touch she's really quite disciplined when it comes to wanting to play sports, so yeah, she's awesome.”

The Ross Shield tournament is well known to have started the career of many an All Black like Josh Kronfeld, Israel Dagg and Greg Somerville.