Club's first women's team named

An experienced all-international spine is a feature of the first Warriors side named to face the Sydney Roosters in the opening match of the inaugural NRL women’s premiership at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday (3.05pm local time; 5.05pm NZT).

Coach Luisa Avaiki has named 2017 New Zealand Rugby League player of the year Apii Nicholls at fullback, captain Laura Mariu and Georgia Hale in the halves and Krystal Rota at hooker.

It’s the same combination the Warriors started with in their 32-4 trial win over Auckland at Mount Smart Stadium on August 10.

Avaiki mixed up combinations for the second trial against Auckland on August 25, which the Warriors battled to win 20-16.

The Warriors women and the club’s NRL side feature in a double header on Saturday with the Stephen Kearney-coached Vodafone Warriors taking on Penrith in a week one finals elimination contest at 5.30pm; it’s the Vodafone Warriors first taste of NRL finals football since the 2011 grand final.

To add to the historic nature of the occasion, there’ll be a special first when mother and son Lorina and Isaiah Papali’i represent the club in official matches for the first time and so do on the same day and the same ground. In another twist they will both be wearing the No 15 jersey and are both named on the interchange bench for their teams.

A feature of the women’s kit is that each jersey is personalised with the player’s name which they will wear throughout the competition.

The Warriors women go into the historic campaign buoyed by announcements yesterday that Flight Centre has signed as the front of jersey sponsor and Twenty8 Essentials on the shorts.

 

NRL WOMEN’S PREMIERSHIP

WARRIORS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS
3.05pm, Saturday, September 8, 2018
ANZ Stadium, Sydney

WARRIORS

1 APII NICHOLLS
2 LANGI VEAINU
3 SHONTELLE WOODMAN
14 SARINA CLARK
5 HILDA MARIU
6 LAURA MARIU (c)
7 GEORGIA HALE
8 ANNETTA-CLAUDIA NUUAUSALA
9 KRYSTAL ROTA
10 AIESHALEIGH SMALLEY
4 ONJEURLINA LEIATAUA
12 ALICE VAILEA
13 LUISA GAGO
Interchange:
11 TANIKA-JAZZ NOBLE-BELL
15 LORINA PAPALI’I
18 SUI TAUASA-PAUARAISA
17 KAHURANGI PETERS
21 LISA EDWARDS
20 RAQUEL ANDERSON-PITMAN
16 AMBER KANI
23 CRYSTAL TAMARUA

COACH | LUISA AVAIKI