Georgia Hale had lost her way.

After years of making a name for herself in the halves and at hooker, the roles had become repetitive for the 24-year-old Warriors and Kiwi Ferns star.

"I think I was just stuck in a rut where I was doing the same things and it was a little bit predictable; same old same old for me," she says. "I was really excited for a new challenge."

She'll get just that this year in the NRL Women's competition, moving from the halves into lock. It's a big difference in position, with a shift into the middle likely to see her in the firing line of opposition forwards hitting the ball up.


It's a challenge Hale was eager to jump into, spending the Auckland club season learning the role and donning the No13 jersey for the Kiwi Ferns earlier in the year. She said the defensive aspect to the role was a particularly appealing proposition.

"But I feel like moving into the middle is more suited to me. I love the defensive side of the game, and it's given me a completely new appreciation for just how hard our middles work, and really grinding in the middle – I love that aspect of it as well."

With the Warriors running a new halves combination of Timaima Ravisa and Charntay Poko this season, Hale was expecting to drop back into a playmaking role on occasion to take some of the pressure off the freshly minted duo, and would be helping with the play calling as the side's captain this season.

The Warriors begin their campaign on Saturday night against the Roosters in Melbourne, where Hale will get her first taste of playing lock at the NRL level.

Taking inspiration from Warriors men's team legend Simon Mannering, who held down the No13 jersey for many of his 301 NRL matches for the club, Hale said she was ready for the physicality her new role would offer.

"For us it came down to our fitness and not really being ready for the speed of the game," she admitted.

"(This year) our team looks in good condition and ran some good solid opposed session during the week, so I think we're ready."