09/08/1995 - AUCKLAND
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A classy performer in the halves with the versatility and work-rate to play hooker or lock, Georgia Hale has become one of women’s rugby league’s most recognisable – and through her community work at the Warriors, hardest-working – figures of an era where the code has made enormous progress.

A New Zealand touch and tag-football rep, Hale was 18th player for the Kiwi Ferns in their 2014 Test against the Jillaroos at just 19 years of age. A few months later she featured in the historic Kiwi Ferns-Jillaroos series at the 2015 NRL Auckland Nines.

Hale made her Test debut off the bench in the 2015 Anzac Test loss. The gifted playmaker was the linchpin of the Kiwi Ferns’ 2016-17 Auckland Nines campaigns and wore the No.6 in the Anzac Test both seasons.

Named vice-captain for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup soon after turning 22, Hale featured in pool wins over Canada and Papua New Guinea, and the semi-final demolition of England. But she was an unlucky omission from the game-day 17 for the final against Australia.

The Richmond stalwart – playing in all three of the Roses’ 2017-19 ARL grand final losses – and Akarana Falcons rep was part of the Warriors’ squad for the inaugural NRLW premiership in 2018. She started all three games at halfback for the Warriors, before coming off the bench in the Kiwi Ferns’ end-of-season Test loss to the Jillaroos.

The courageous Hale returned to New Zealand’s starting line-up for the mid-season Test against Fetu Samoa in 2019, racking up 29 tackles and 122 metres from lock in the 46-8 win.

Named Warriors captain for their sophomore NRLW campaign, Hale switched to the No.13 jersey for the Warriors’ first two games and scored their opening try in the win over Sydney Roosters. She reverted to five-eighth for the Warriors’ final match – a stunning 10-8 upset of eventual champs Brisbane. The 24-year-old averaged 69 metres and 36 tackles across the three games.

After playing a key role in the Kiwi Ferns’ World Cup Nines triumph (she made a team-high 57 metres in the upset of the Jillaroos in the final), Hale was at lock again in the subsequent Test loss to Australia in Wollongong.

Already named a Kiwibank Local Hero Medal recipient and the New Zealand representative player of the year at the RLPA Players’ Champion awards, Hale’s contribution to rugby league and community initiatives for children and people with disabilities was further recognised when she was honoured as the 2019 Young New Zealander of the Year.

The inspirational Hale – one of just five New Zealand-based players to head to Australia for the 2020 NRLW premiership – was appointed the Warriors’ captain, starring in the No.13 jersey in all three of the club’s games and averaging 39 tackles and 68 metres. She was awarded the Veronica White Medal on NRL Grand Final Day for her exceptional off-field work.

Hale relocated to Australia in 2021 and linked with Tweed Heads Seagulls in the QRL Women’s Premiership as well as becoming a marquee signing for Gold Coast Titans’ fledgling NRLW team. She helped the Titans reach the semi-finals at their first attempt – in the 2021 NRLW, played in early-2022 – and played all five of the club’s games in the 2022 NRLW competition, averaging a staggering 44 tackles per game.

Hale was inspirational at lock in New Zealand’s 50-12 defeat of Tonga midway through 2022, topping her team’s count with 28 tackles and running for a game-high 194 metres from 20 carries. The 27-year-old shaped as one of the Kiwi Ferns’ most important cogs as they eyed off World Cup glory at the end of the year, featuring in a familiar ball-playing lock role in four matches of a campaign that ultimately ended with another final defeat at the hands of the Jillaroos.

The veteran added another glittering chapter to her career in 2023 by captaining the Titans all the way to the grand final, where they were gallant in a 24-18 loss to Newcastle Knights.

Hale’s experience, class and incredible work-rate were vital to the Kiwi Ferns’ Pacific Championships campaign in late-2023. Installed as co-captained, the No.13 topped the tackle count in both matches against Australia and the win over Tonga with 40-plus stops in each Test, while leading the Kiwi Ferns to a long-awaited win over the Jillaroos in Melbourne saw her run for a team-high 157 metres and rated as a career highlight.


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