Vodafone Warriors community ambassador Georgia Hale joins a host of seasoned internationals in the Kiwi Ferns team named to face the Australian Jillaroos in their three-match series at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park on February 4 and 5.
Hale was named the New Zealand representative women’s player of the year at the 2016 RLPA Players’ Champion Awards after her deeds in the Kiwi Ferns’ triumphs at the NRL Nines and in the Anzac Test.
Sarina Fiso, three-time winner of the NZRL women’s player of the year award is again captain of the 16-strong Nines squad.
Kiwi Ferns coach Alan Jackson named his team following Saturday’s trial where he says the standard seen was even higher than last year’s.
“The outstanding standard of play at the trials was really pleasing and while we lose three players from last year’s team, the fresh faces definitely bring an exciting element to the game,” he says.
Five of the 16 women including Honey Hireme, Kimiora Nati, Luisa Gago, Ngatokotoru Arakau and Tanika-Jazz Noble are set to debut for the Kiwi Ferns Nines.
“While we’ve made seven changes from the winning 2016 team, I’m confident we have the right mix of experienced and new players and it’s certainly exciting to have Honey Hireme back in the rugby league fold,” he says.
“The women are really looking forward to the tournament that’s always a special weekend and I’m looking forward to what we put out on the field.”
KIWI FERNS | DOWNER NRL AUCKLAND NINES
Honey Hireme (debut)
Kimiora Nati (debut)
Luisa Gago (debut)
Ngatokotoru Arakau (debut)
Tanika-Jazz Noble (debut)