Shania Kohinga has a big future in rugby.
But she is not sure which capacity that will be in – playing, coaching or refereeing.
Kohinga (18) has been selected for the New Zealand Maori Under-18 Wahine development team, which has a camp in Rotorua on July 18-21 led by national Maori coach Clayton McMillan.
After the camp, the side will play an internal game as a curtain-raiser to New Zealand Maori Under-20 and New Zealand Maori games against Fiji.
Kohinga has attended two regional camps in Christchurch and said she was looking forward to the national camp.
“The other ones were awesome. We stayed on marae, which I had never done before.
“I learnt a lot more about Maori culture as well, like how it fits in with rugby and mental health.”
Kohinga has left school but was still eligible for the Waitaki Girls’ High School team this year.
The openside flanker’s season has been disrupted by injury, but that has allowed her to focus on her other passions – coaching and refereeing rugby.
Kohinga coaches an Excelsior Under-10 team, and she said she was keen to keep progressing through the coaching ranks.
She said she would be paying particular attention to what messages the coaches delivered in Rotorua – and how they did so.
Kohinga’s highest ambition is probably in refereeing.
She has already refereed touch at a national level and has started out in rugby as an assistant referee at First XV games.
Other referees in the region had been helpful, she said.
“There was one time where I had to make a call on double movement and I did.
“I was mic’d up with Josh Lewis [North Otago senior rugby referee], who backed up the call, which was a relief.”
Kohinga said she would like to keep going with refereeing, and wanted to see how far that could take her.