Three debutants have been named in Kiwi Ferns Coach Tony Benson’s starting line-up to take on Cook Islands in New Zealand’s second Women’s Rugby League World Cup game tomorrow at 4pm (AEDT).

While Nicholls-Pualau, New Zealand’s stand-out player against Canada will remain in fullback, Racquel Anderson, Louisa Gago and Australian-based Kiwi Raecene McGregor will play their first international Test.

Hailing from Waikato, Racquel Anderson will reap the benefits of making the three hour round trip to each training in the lead up to the World Cup.

“I’m rearing to get out on that field and put all those hard yards spent travelling and training hard into practice,”

“I know when I pull on that black jersey for my first time I’ll be thinking of the little league community that we have back in Tokoroa and hopefully my story will empower more young women to get out there and play the game we all love,” she said.


Kiwi Ferns v Cook Islands
November 19, 4pm (AEDT)
Southern Cross Group Stadium, Sydney

1 – Apii Nicholls-Pualau
2 – Atawhai Tupaea
3 – Amber Kani
4 – Shontelle Woodman
5 – Honey Hireme
6 – Raecene McGregor *
7 – Kimiora Nati
8 – Lilieta Maumau
9 – Racquel Anderson *
10 – Kahurangi Peters
20- Hilda Peters
12 – Louisa Gago *
13 – Laura Mariu (Captain)
14 – Nita Maynard
15- Krystal Murray
16 – Ngatokotoru Arakua
17 – Bunty Kuruwaka-Crowe
19 – Aieshaleigh Smalley *
22- Annetta-Claudia Nuuausala

*International debut