Warriors head coach Luisa Avaiki today announced Kiwi Ferns back rower Georgia Hale will captain the side in the second NRLW premiership this season.
Hale, who has just turned 24, becomes one of the youngest players to lead a top-level women’s team in any code in New Zealand.
“Georgia stands out with the way she holds herself, with her values, her strengths and the passion she has for every team she plays for,” said Avaiki.
“I’ve watched her and she has really good relationships with everyone around her and she’s respectful. Her work ethic, competitiveness and drive are important qualities she demonstrates on and off the field.
“It’s exciting for Georgia and the girls around her that she has the chance to lead the team. This also gives her the chance to develop and grow her leadership skills at this level.”
Avaiki said Hale would be supported by a strong leadership group within the team which will drive the squad’s values, identity and culture.
Hale, a Kiwi Ferns representative since 2015, has also played at international level for New Zealand in both touch and tag.
“I was totally shocked when Lui asked me to be captain,” she said.
“It’s such a huge honour and so humbling to be given the role to lead this group of girls.
“I’ve grown up supporting the Warriors all my life and to be able to work for the club, then play for it and now captain our NRLW team is just a dream.
“A real source of strength for me will be our leadership group. There are so many amazing and experienced girls in this squad.”
Hale, who works for the Vodafone Warriors as community relations coordinator, played in all three games in the Warriors’ inaugural NRLW campaign last year and is one of 10 2018 players back on deck this season.
The NRLW season kicks off alongside the NRL finals on the weekend of September 14-15.
The Warriors will play in Australia in week one but will be at Mount Smart Stadium for the competition’s first standalone game on Sunday, September 22 (3.15pm kick-off).
While the full draw is yet to be confirmed, the Warriors’ third and final game will be against Brisbane on September 28 (venue to be confirmed). The grand final will be played at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, October 6.
Born: August 9, 1995
Birthplace: Auckland, NZ
Club: Richmond Roses (Auckland)
Zone: Akarana Falcons
Position: Loose forward
Rep honours: Kiwi Ferns (2015-2019), World Cup (2017), Auckland NRL Nines (2014-2017), New Zealand touch, New Zealand tag
Years playing rugby league: 5 years
What got you into the game? My friends
Occupation: Community coordinator, Vodafone Warriors