Kiwi Fern's Georgia Halen. Kiwi Ferns v NZ Maori Women, FMG Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand. Saturday, 4 November, 2017. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz

Standoff Georgia Hale will captain the Kiwi Ferns for the first time in New Zealand’s third and final pool match of the Women’s Rugby League World Cup against Papua New Guinea at Southern Cross Group Stadium in Sydney today (6.30pm kick-off local time; 8.30pm NZT).

While this is Hale’s first Rugby League World Cup, the PNG match-up will be her fifth Test having played in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Anzac Tests.

Hale, who works as community coordinator with the Vodafone Warriors, played in the Kiwi Ferns' opening RLWC match against Canada but wasn't used against the Cook Islands.

Aieshaleigh Smalleyplays her first Test in the black jersey today. She credits the support of her Otahuhu Leopards team and family in Auckland for being able to represent her country in the sport she loves.

“I’m so grateful to be where I am today. I just cannot wait to run out on the field in front of my family and friends who have flown across to Sydney to support me,” she said.

“My three-year-old son Kayson will also be there to cheer me on so I can’t wait to make him proud.” 

If the Kiwi Ferns win their game against PNG, they will finish top of Pool B and will play their semi-final against the team ranked second in Pool A on Sunday, November 26.

 

KIWI FERNS v PAPUA NEW GUINEA ORCHIDS

6.30pm, Wednesday, November 22

Southern Cross Group Stadium, Sydney

 

KIWI FERNS

1 RAECENE MCGREGOR

2 ATAWHAI TUPAEA

3 MAITUA FETERIKA

4 AMBER KANI

5 HILDA PETERS

6 GEORGIA HALE (c)

7 RACQUEL ANDERSON

8 AIESHALEIGH SMALLEY

9 KRYSTAL ROTA

10 KAHURANGI PETERS

11 TEUILA FOTU-MOALA

12 LOUISA GAGO

13 SHARLENE ATAI

Interchange:

14 NITA MAYNARD

15 ANNETTA-CLAUDIA NUUAUSALA

16 BUNTY KURUWAKA-CROWE

19 LILIETA MAUMAU

21 NGATOKOTORU ARAKUA

22 APII NICHOLLS-PUALAU