New Zealand international joins Leeds for 2023 campaign

Drew Darbyshire
Georgia Hale New Zealand Kiwi Ferns SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Women’s Super League champions Leeds have pulled off a major coup in signing New Zealand international Georgia Hale for the 2023 season.

The 27-year-old loose forward makes the move to Headingley for 2023, as her partner Sam Lisone did with the men’s team a couple of months ago.

Hale began her NRLW career with New Zealand Warriors in 2018 and went onto captain the side for two seasons. She joined Gold Coast Titans as their marquee signing in 2021.

Leeds coach Lois Forsell said: “We have been really excited at the prospect of Georgia coming over.

“She finally landed last week and jumped in with two feet and was in training with us last week before joining us for our pre-season training session camp with the Parachute Regiment in Catterick last week.

“I think she is going to add loads of quality to our squad, particularly in leadership and just the fact that she has played in the top tier in the NRLW and internationally is massive for us.

“It’s great to have someone with that sort of experience and skill around the place and we can see from even these early days that she will add a lot of value.”

Georgia Hale keen to explore her heritage in England

Hale has represented New Zealand in two World Cups as well as the Nines World Cup in 2019. She is also of English heritage through her grandmother, and she’s looking forward to learning more about British culture.

Hale said: “It’s so nice to be here and to join the club. I arrived last week and have met the staff and the girls and there is a really good buzz around the place.

“I was over here for the World Cup last year so that was a nice opportunity to meet people and see what the Rhinos are about.

“My partner, Sam Lisone, is obviously over here too so it was a good opportunity for us both to represent the Rhinos and move overseas and still chase our footy dream. It’s fantastic that the game allows us to do that.

“I have heritage over here in England, my nanna is from here, so it’s nice to be connecting with her roots and to be playing for such a prestigious club and alongside such a great group of girls.

“The success within the club is great to see and especially within the women’s space and I am excited to be part of that and to keep building with what they have created and just to add to some of my learnings along the way.”

Leeds have enjoyed an impressive recruitment drive over the off-season. The Rhinos have also signed England star Amy Hardcastle from St Helens.

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