24 October 2023A new Kiwi Ferns line-up has been confirmed for Saturday’s Jillaroos clash, and if there’s one word on everyone’s mind, it’s ‘redemption’.
Kiwi Ferns wing, Shanice Parker is no stranger to coming up against the Jillaroos. Although not making it to the grand final due to injury, she was in last year’s squad who suffered a defeat to Australia in the 2021 Women’s Rugby League World Cup.
It’s that determination to rewrite history that is fueling this new team on, together with a desire to make Wairoa’s Amelia Pasikala proud, following Saturday’s leg injury that cut short her debut tour in the black and white jersey.
“We definitely want to unleash the beast like Ama would on the field. Once she got injured, the girls were saying ‘this is for Ama’ so we are doing this one for her as well,” says Shanice.
Shanice says the team has only continued to get better with each week and game, with Saturday’s match in Melbourne the clincher.
“We’ve had a steady rise and we’ve really connected as a team these past two weeks, so hopefully we can finish on a high against the Jillaroos,” says Shanice.
Head coach Ricky Henry says it has been his toughest selection process yet.
“Those named have consistently proven themselves on-field over the past two weeks. Their naming today is a reward for showing up and giving every training and game their absolute all,” he says.
With the loss of Amelia Pasikala, Henry has been forced to rethink the Kiwi Ferns bench and cover.
Veteran Apii Nicholls returns to fullback, while forward Laishon Albert-Jones is named among inter-change.
Shanice Parker of the Newcastle Knights returns to the wing, alongside Wests Tigers’ Leianne Tufuga.
Mele Hufanga remains at center, following her naming as player of the match against Tonga at Eden Park. Abigail Roache maintains her center position, off the back of her hat-trick on Saturday.
The Kiwi Ferns narrowly lost 16-10 to the Jillaroos in their first encounter with the team on October 14.
Jillaroos v Kiwi Ferns kick-off Saturday 28 October 6pm at AAMI Stadium, Melbourne.2023 Kiwi Ferns Pacific Championship Team List: