Renae Kunst

Fast facts

  • Born, raised and lives in Mackay, QLD
  • Played junior league with the Mackay Magpies Rugby League Club
  • Since 2007 has proudly played for and captained the Queensland Maroons
  • Represented Australia, playing for and captaining the Australian Jillaroos since 2008
  • Women in League Achievement Award, NRL Community Award nominee in 2016 and 2014 QRL Player of the Year
  • Received five Player Awards
  • Retired from professional rugby league in 2017
  • NRL Ambassador from 2015 - 2017
  • NRL Community Program Deliverer since 2018

Fun facts

Favourite NRL team: North Queensland Cowboys

Career ambition as a kid: A park ranger

Favourite food: Anything that doesn't require me to cook it

Spirit animal: A hummingbird symbolising the enjoyment of life

What's on TV (when the footy isn't on): Some chick flick with my daughter, no doubt

Bio

Born and raised in Mackay, QLD, Renae Kunst and her family have long been affiliated with rugby league, naturally leading her to a career in the game.

With an older brother playing through to QLD Cup level, an inspired Renae played a couple of sessions with the boys at 10 and 11 years old before picking up the sport again in high school when she could play in the schoolgirls competition.

"Playing in the schoolgirls competition got me to where I am today – playing for the Maroons and for my country as a Jillaroo, making memories that will last a lifetime," said Renae.

Inspired by players such as Alfie Langer and Dallas Johnson, Renae wanted to build her game around showing courage, a second-to-none work-rate and team attitude. It was these values that saw Renae qualify to represent Queensland and Australia, playing for the Maroons and Jillaroos since 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Renee retired from professional rugby league in 2017, however her impact is greater than the time she spent on the footy field. Renae became a NRL Ambassador in 2015, complementing her work as a Voice Against Violence Ambassador and NRL Game Development Officer where she delivers the NRL's important grassroots and community programs.

In 2018, she became a NRL Community Program Deliverer where she will continue to engage with local communities and the grass roots game around the country.

"I love that I am able to play a role in our young people's lives to offer support when needed and encourage our young generation, especially females the importance and benefits of playing sport."

"The thing I love about this game is that no matter your shape, size, gender - you can play a big part in this game. Through hard work and determination, I am proud of how my life has turned out - not bad for a young, overweight kid who was bullied from country Mackay."

Renae is also very excited to see the future of the women's rugby league game.

"I am so proud to have played a role in the rise of women's rugby league. Female sport in general is now in the spotlight and these athletes are finally gaining the recognition they thoroughly deserve."

"While this isn't why I and my teammates play our great game, the messages we can deliver through sport by ways of empowerment, self-respect and humility with the backing of the NRL is such a bold statement."

Renae lives in Mackay with her 11-year-old daughter, Isabella.