Luisa Avaikitavesivesi has been named as the inaugural coach of the Warriors women's team that will participate in the Womens NRL competition beginning later in the year.
Avaikitavesivesi has long been involved in rugby league, either as a player or as a coach.
She says, "When I actually finished playing I really wanted to pursue coaching and I really wanted to give back to my club. I'd played there for about close to twenty years so I started coaching U16s who didn't have a coach at the time".
Avaikitavesivesi guided the Richmond club's U20s side to the Auckland Rugby League Championship and was named the ARL Coach of the year in 2011.
When asked about the excitement of being named the coach of the first Womens NRL side, she says, "I think my excitement is more around the opportunities this offers our girls, for our players. Not just for our players who are coming through at an elite level but all our female players down from mini-mods, now juniors our ladies who are aspiring to make the Kiwi Ferns team".
And her message to the girls out there who are now able to dream of playing in the NRL is simple, "Love league, love playing league. Love playing league with your mates".
Avaikitavesivesi will meet with Football Operations Manager Brian Smith in the near future where they will discuss options around staff and player recruitment in the lead up to kick-off on the 1st Womens NRL competition later in the year.