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New Zealand Māori Ferns forward Rona Peters.

She's one of the most feared players in the women's game but Rona Peters will still claim to be the shyest of her three siblings when she takes the field in Friday afternoon's Harvey Norman All-Stars clash at AAMI Park.

Peters spent the NRLW competition at loggerheads with her two sisters Kahurangi Peters and Hilda Mariu, while also lining up against sister-in-law Laura Mariu, all of whom played for the Warriors.

Rona lives in Brisbane and was an easy-fit signing for the Broncos, where she started at lock in all four games for the premiership-winning side.

But regardless of where their individual rugby league journeys have taken them, the sisters have always felt part of their Maori heritage after a traditional upbringing.

"We all went to Maori schools growing up from pre-school to high school," Peters told

"It's in our blood. We are very big on where we're from. This whole week is about representing our family and the exciting part is to enjoy being with my siblings and cousins doing it.

"It's been a while that I've been able to play alongside them and it's always hard playing against them so I'm enjoying their company."

New Zealand Māori Ferns forward Rona Peters.
New Zealand Māori Ferns forward Rona Peters. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

The Maori team was handpicked by selectors following an invitational tournament after the NRLW season in 2018.

"There's some power in our team, it'll be a good display to watch and being only 60 minutes will make it even faster," Peters said.

"We made a team from the Gold Coast and went over to trial in New Zealand, played and won the tournament. I haven't had a good break over Christmas because I've been to driven to do well in this game."

The 30-year-old will co-captain the Maori side on Friday alongside childhood friend Krystal Rota – a fitting decision given the pair played their first-ever games of rugby league together.

Peters sports traditional Maori tattoo designs down both her arms and represented the Kiwi Ferns for a decade before moving to Australia.

Rona's sister Hilda also took the steps to represent her culture with a traditional facial chin tattoo, the moko kauae, in 2018.

Hilda Mariu in training with the New Zealand Māori Ferns.
Hilda Mariu in training with the New Zealand Māori Ferns. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

"It's a genealogy, an acknowledgement for who I am as an Indigenous woman," Mariu said.

"If you go back, Indigenous Maori women would get the tattoo as a sign of becoming a woman, but it's been lost over the years.

"I've grown up in the Indigenous Maori world and was always wanting one as a little kid."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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