November 05, 2021
Fiji-born and former Suva Grammar student Tanya Kalounivale has been named in the Chiefs women’s squad for the inaugural 2022 Super Rugby Aupiki.
The Fijian tight head prop came off a strong Farah Palmer Cup campaign in which her scrummaging was hard to fault for the runners-up, creating space for the sharp backline to cut some shapes.
Kalounivale debuted for Waikato in 2017, not long after her school days were over.
In last year’s Farah Palmer Cup, she formed a rock-solid front-row combination with Toka Natua and Grace Houpapa-Barrett.
Kalounivale herself scored two tries in six games, including one in the semifinal against the Manawatu Cyclones, taking her stats to three tries from 21 outings for Waikato.
The Hamilton Old Boys player will seek to soak up plenty of knowledge from the likes of Aleisha-Pearl Nelson and Aldora Itunu as her game matures.
Meanwhile, Chiefs have been able to rely on a wealth of experience from inside their boundary, with 16 current or former Black Ferns in their ranks, only three players join the team from outside the region.
Four current Black Ferns Sevens players will no doubt light up the backline when they link with former Coach Allan Bunting.
Chiefs squad: Chelsea Alley, Ariana Bayler, Kelly Brazier, Luka Connor, Georgia Daals, Victoria Edmonds, Les Elder, Stacey Fluhler, Carla Hohepa, Chyna Hohepa, Grace Houpapa-Barrett, Tanya Kalounivale, Maia Joseph, Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, Angel Mulu, Kendra Reynolds, Kennedy Simon, Awhina Tangen-Wainohu, Pia Tapsell, Santo Taumata, JayJay Taylor, Harono Te Iringa, Hazel Tubic, Ruby Tui, Renee Wickliffe, Kelsie Wills, Portia Woodman
By Romeka Romena