Three Far North players have been named in an indigenous team set to travel to Australia to play two internationals in the New Year.

Tara Jackson (17, Ngapuhi/Ngati Whatua, Kerikeri), Emily West (15, Ngati Ranginui, Kerikeri) and Kalani Walters Hewson (17, Te Rarawa, Ahipara) were last week named in the final cut of the Aotearoa Maori Women's team which plays two games against the Australian First Nations team in Wollongong from January 18-21.

Jackson and West attend Kerikeri High School while Walters Hewson is enrolled with Abundant Life School in Kaitaia.

All three girls were selected after taking part in a camp in Auckland earlier this month which included playing a friendly against the visiting New Caledonia national women's team that is preparing for the OFC Women's Nations Cup.

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The women's team will travel under the auspices of the Maori Football New Zealand organisation.

Organisation founder Phil Parker said the trio will form part of a 23-strong squad to play their Australian counterparts over two consecutive days.

The women's team, however, will likely travel with only 21 players with two of the team members on representative duties recently yet to confirm their availability due to national commitments.

The two other teams representing Maori Football NZ on the Australian tour are the men and under-14 boys.

The Aotearoa Maori and Australian indigenous sides played each other in the inaugural Trans-Tasman Clash of the Cultures series in Auckland earlier this year with the home teams winning both men's and women's tests.

Parker said all the players selected for the tour are required to raise a certain amount themselves to help with the costs of the trip.

"Funding is hard to get from funding agents right now so any little bit will help us to get the teams to Australia," he said.

He said there were still potential spots to be filled in the under-14 boys team and welcomed expressions of interest from anyone keen to be considered for that squad.
He can be contacted at (021)172-8370 or email aotearoafootball@gmail.com