For Tweed Seagulls recruit Georgia Hale, kick off to the new BHP Premiership season cannot come around soon enough.
Speaking before the QRL’s statewide competitions launch last month, the Kiwi Ferns representative and New Zealand Warriors NRLW captain is one of a number of big signings who are set to feature in the competition this year and shared her thoughts on her move to take part in the season.
“It is a big move, it’s been a lot of adjustment and transition,” Hale said.
“I came over (to Australia) for NRLW; my partner (Sam Lisone at Gold Coast Titans) has actually been living over here and playing footy, so I was quite keen to join him; but with COVID and restrictions and everything, it wasn’t obviously so easy to get over, but I just asked the question post NRL and they cleared it and it was all good to come up.
“I have quarantined and everything so now I am based here on the Gold Coast – loving it and really excited for the season ahead.”
Hale has linked up with the Seagulls who already have some key personnel in their squad with Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons game-breaker Tarryn Aiken one to watch again this year.
However, despite the level of talent in the squad, Hale was more focused on having a good year and helping all the team enjoy their time on the field.
“There definitely are some superstars (in the Tweed squad),” Hale – who is currently working in the disabilities care space with Support Mates – said.
“Coming in, I was super excited … because obviously, you come up against these girls and you are on the receiving end, you know how good they are, but I guess to now be calling them teammates and to be learning off each other at training and having discussions and now forming friendships, it’s been a really special journey.
“There are some big names in the Tweed side, so I think it’s going to be an exciting year ahead … I don’t think, to be fair, that we expect much, but we are really just going to enjoy the season and just kind of see where we finish, but I think we have the ability to be competitive.”
As for her role in the team, the versatile Hale was happy to slot in wherever she is needed; but was expecting to line up at lock.
“I definitely make note to him (coach Chris O’Connell) that I am happy to just fill a gap if he needs,” Hale said.
“I think I probably will be sitting at lock which is something I am totally stoked about. I am really enjoying playing there, but if he needs or if the team needs, I am happy to put my hand up and play elsewhere.
“But we have got some guns like Tarryn in that half role, we have got Lailee Phillips who is running at hooker, so I think we have got a really good template in place.”
Match: Seagulls v Valkyries
Round 1 -
Venue: Tugun RLFC, Tugun
To kick off Round 1 of the competition, the Seagulls will host Valkyries Queensland at Piggabeen Sports Complex on Saturday, April 10.
The round will conclude on Sunday with Brisbane Tigers hosting last year’s Holcim Cup title holders Burleigh Bears at Totally Workwear Stadium.
The Bears are expected to be a formidable force again this season and have bolstered their squad with the inclusion of dynamic fullback Tamika Upton and Hale’s Kiwi Fern and Warriors team mate Crystal Tamarua.
BHP Premiership squad lists for 2021
Angelena Watego, Chanae Dawson, Chanelle Kohika-Skipper, Charlotte Booth, Danielle Hunter, Emily Robinson, Emily Veivers, Jayda Lofipo, Jessica Carey, Jessikah Reeves, Kathrine Moore, Keisha-Leigh Coolwell, Kelsey Parkin, Kennedy Harrison-Vahua, Kimberley Dore, Lucy Cuppari, Lucy Botten, Moega Wright, Ruth Talatonu, Shae De La Cruz, Shanay Taylor, Sian Lavea, Sierra Maple, Tahlia Rolph, Tayla Eldridge, Tegan Spicer, Zhane Kameta
Coach: Adrian Vowles
Amber Pilley, Brittany Breayley, Chante Temara, Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Crystal Tamarua, Eseta Fangaloka, Jasmin Kemp, Karina Brown, Kelly Jury, Laken Paitai, Lauren Brown, Millie Boyle, Molly McGill, Shellie Long, Tallisha Harden, Tamika Upton, Tarnisha Lyons, Tazmin Gray, Teaghan Hartigan, Tyler Birch, Zahara Temara, Kimiora Ngati
Coach: Tahnee Norris
Central Queensland Capras
Chelsea Baker, Keysha Baker, Reeghyn Beardmore, Rikarra Benjamin, Gemma Brennan, Naomi Clayton, Kelli Dunlop, Vassa Hunter, Emmaley McMurdy, Akayla McQuire, Meg Neven, Sophie O’Toole, Emmanita Paki, Jessica Powell, Mackenzie Reid, Mikayla Roe, Kailah Rogers, Bree Spreadborough, Mariah Storch, Krystal Sulter, Abbey Templeman, Sharni Upton, Justine Willie, Jasmine Walters
Coach: Amanda Ohl
North Queensland Gold Stars
Jordii Mahendrarajah, Emma Wood, Sarah Field, Mateeka Nielson, Riutoto Tehiko, Romy Teitzel, Shaniah Power, Tamika Bray, Katie Green, Imogen Healy, India MacPhee, Jasmine Peters, Kya Mooney, Lauren Moss, Layla Fauid, Pani Rupapere, Rangi-marie Edwards-Bruce, Emma Manzelmann, Kristine Vaalepu, Deborah Barchard, Tahlulah Tillett, Stephanie Mooka, Tahina Booth, Esha Nona, Priya Deshong, Kaiyla Ward
Coach: Gavin Lloyd
Tarryn Aiken, Olivia Attenborough-Doyle, Zara Canfield, Jaimie Chapman, Jessika Elliston, Jada Ferguson, Olivia Fine, Leticia Haas-Quinlan, Georgia Hale, Kayla Harris, Serena Martin, Kaitlyn Phillips, Lailee Phillips, Grace Qaranivalu, Illarrah Roberts, Kirra Steadman, Alani Sullivan, Tawana Sullivan Togo, Jade Taylor, Brooke Saddler, Shaylee Bent, Emma Stockham, Georgia Simmonds
Coach: Chris O'Connell
Portia Bourke, Ali Brigginshaw, Destiny Brill, Patrice Chambers, Shenae Ciesiolka, Brianna Clark, Lavinia Gould, Grace Griffin, Kody House, Toni Hunt, Jamie-Lee Lewis, Hayley Maddick, Taylor-Adeline Mapusua, Rosanna Mauga, Eileen Payne, Savannah Pratten, Kelsie Price, Natassja Purontakanen, Sarah Riordan, Emma Sykes, Caitlyn Taleni, Liahona Theodore, Rosemary Vaimili Toalepai, Meg Ward, Melanie West-Sooby
Coach: Scott Prince
West Brisbane Panthers
Shen’e Clemments, Dana Cruz, Lauren Dam, Justine Sou, Lilly Green, Gemma Schnaubelt, Julia Robinson, Acacia Wulf, Asipau Mafi, Isabella Coll, Kia Henry, Montanah Best, Takiyah Nagas, Taimane Levu, Paige Schouw, Hayley Riccardi, Lana Sheedy, Bridget Smith, Sally Tuiala, Jailyn To’o, Jessica Nugent, Stefanie Gallagher
Coach: Craig Green
As well as a core group of players, each week, the Valkyries Queensland team will be made up of BHP Premiership players who have not been selected to feature in the round by their primary clubs.
Coach: Wayne Treleaven
*squad lists submitted by clubs and will be updated as information comes to hand.