Press Release – New Zealand Rugby League
Saturday was a special day for the Kiwi Ferns – New Zealand’s world champion women’s rugby league team. For starters, at a function at Te Mahurehure Marae in Pt Chevalier, Sir Owen Glenn announced that the Vodafone Warriors would be the Kiwi Ferns’ major sponsor for their World Cup campaign in the UK this July. That was a huge boost for the team of 24, who are looking to win a fourth consecutive World Cup.
The Ferns also announced that their captain for the campaign would be Honey Hireme. Hireme, who plays centre or second row, will lead her country for the first time, following a selection process involving both her coaches and her peers.
Lynley Tierney-Mani, who coaches the Kiwi Ferns, used to play against Hireme (31). “For over 10 years I have had the pleasure of watching Honey mature into the lovely, inspirational leader and person she is today,” says Tierney-Mani. “She has an aura about her as a player that you simply cannot resist being drawn into for direction and guidance on and off the field.”
Hireme’s ability in both rugby league and rugby union (where she has played for the national 7s team), has earned her the nickname ‘Honey Bill Williams’. Tierney-Mani can see some similarities. “She seems to have the same effect on the opposition and spectators as Sonny Bill himself,” she says, before adding with a smile, “Although I think her guns may be getting a bit bigger than his at the moment.”
The Kiwi Ferns’ vice-captain for the World Cup will be Auckland’s Tasha Tapu, who is the most experienced, and quickest, member of the squad.
Sir Owen proved a hit with the Kiwi Ferns on Saturday night, presenting Hireme with a Korowai (Maori cloak) when announcing her as captain and then serenading her on stage after she’d accepted it. He has also invited the Ferns to be special guests at the Vodafone Warriors’ home game against the Brisbane Broncos on June 30. The Ferns will be introduced on the field and given a send-off by the Mount Smart Stadium crowd as they prepare to depart to England later that night.
The Kiwi Ferns compete against England, Australia, France, Russia, Samoa and Tonga at the World Cup. Their first match is on July 4 with the World Cup final on July 14 at Headingly, Leeds.
WOMEN’S RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP FINALS:
2000: Kiwi Ferns 26, Great Britain 4
2003: Kiwi Ferns 58, New Zealand Maori 0
2008: Kiwi Ferns 34, Australia 0
KIWI FERNS SQUAD FOR 2013 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP
|Teina Clark||Mid Central|
|Sarina Fiso||Counties Manukau|
|Maryanne Hemara||Counties Manukau|
|Honey Hireme (Captain)||Counties Manukau|
|Kathleen Keremete||Counties Manukau|
|Nora Maaka||Counties Manukau|
|Kelly Maipi||Counties Manukau|
|Laura Mariu||Counties Manukau|
|Simone Panapa||Counties Manukau|
|Rona Peters||Counties Manukau|
|Kahurangi Peters||Counties Manukau|
|Tasha Tapu (Vice captain)||Auckland|
|Karley Te Kawa||Counties Manukau|
|Sharnita Woodman||Counties Manukau|
|Chanelle Wright||Counties Manukau|