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On Saturday afternoon Amy Turner will realise a dream she thought had long passed her by, making her debut for the Kiwi Ferns nearly 20 years after leaving New Zealand to start a new life in Australia.

Despite being born and bred in New Zealand, and originally dedicating herself to rugby league, Turner went on to forge a successful career representing Australia in rugby sevens, which included winning an Olympic gold medal with them in 2016.

While proud of her sevens feats for Australia - and representing Queensland in rugby league - it’s a Kiwi Ferns jersey that the Brisbane Broncos NRLW centre has always longed for.

But at 38 years of age it was a goal she had all but given up on achieving. 

“I didn’t think this opportunity would come around, I thought this boat had passed me by a long time ago. Being able to be here today is a dream come true,” Turner told

“I grew up watching the Kiwi Ferns, many of my friends represented the team, they were amazing and you could see the culture was second to none.

Amy Turner finishes a deadly Broncos move

“They were one of the teams you were always wanting to be part of, but my time didn’t come.

“The first time I played against New Zealand in sevens, watching the girls do the haka and national anthem was quite emotional for me.

Growing up in New Zealand you can’t help but think ‘I’m supposed to be in that team’ and want to sing their anthem.

Amy Turner

“To be able to pull on this jersey will be a special moment.”

Born in the New Zealand forestry town of Tokoroa – the same place current Kiwis squad members Joseph Manu and Te Maire Martin come from – Turner grew up playing sport with Kiwi Ferns legend Honey Hireme, who lived in a neighbouring town.

Much like Hireme, who continued to star in the NRLW and on the international stage into her late 30s, Turner continues to prove age is just a number.

Kiwi Ferns captain Krystal Rota said on the field the pair share plenty of traits as well.

“They both bring great leadership and are vocal when they need to be, but go about their business and will do their job on the field," Rota said of Hireme and Turner.  

“They are true professionals and it shows.”

Turner, who previously played for the Maori Women at the 2021 Harvey Norman All Stars, is one of five debutantes named in the 19-strong squad to face Tonga at Mount Smart Stadium.

Amy Turner in her Kiwi Ferns colours ahead of Saturday's game.
Amy Turner in her Kiwi Ferns colours ahead of Saturday's game. ©NRL Photos

Speaking to media at a fan event on Wednesday afternoon, coach Ricky Henry  said he has high hopes for both Turner and fellow international rookie Page McGregor, who is the other centre named.

“I’m expecting a really big game from Amy and the young girl Page McGregor, who was exciting in the NRLW as well,” Henry said.

“We have got a couple of good centres there.”

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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