New Zealand Rugby League will be conducting trials for the NZ Kiwi Ferns team to contest next year’s NRL Auckland Nines.

The national women’s team beat Australia in a three-game series in both the 2015 and 2016 tournaments, and have been invited to defend that crown at Eden Park next February.

For Ferns head coach Alan Jackson, it’s a chance to cast his net wider that just the rugby league community for talent.

“The NRL Nines have really opened up the public’s eyes to the women’s game,” says Jackson. “Our girls really enjoy playing in front of a huge crowd that gets right behind them and it’s a good stepping stone.

“The nines format is a little less physical and a good way to get a taste of what rugby league is all about.”

Trials have been scheduled for Cornwall Park, Auckland on November 5.

Eligibility criteria is as follows:

·         New Zealand citizen/resident (residing in New Zealand)

·         Minimum age requirement

·         The player has attained or will have attained at least 17 years of age by December 31 in the year preceding the commencement of the 2017 season/campaign (participants must be born in 1999 or previous)

·         Be available for training sessions and camps (these will be advised and will take place in the months of December 2016 and January/February 2017, in lead up to the NRL Auckland Nines)

To attend the trials, all participants must register to be considered and this can be done here.

The deadline for preliminary registrations is 5pm, Wednesday, October 26. Please note that any travel and/or accommodation expenses are the responsibility of the trialist.

NZRL will respond to all those that register to advise if they have been successful to attend the trials, as well as providing them with further details by Friday, October 28.