Kiwi Ferns wait in anticipation for naming of World Cup team

By Eru Paranihi

Kiwi Ferns coach Tony Benson is close to finalising his squad for the Rugby League World Cup in Australia. Benson named his wider squad following the national tournament over the weekend, and it's likely we will see a similar squad who featured in the Anzac test.

Many of these ladies who turned up to the National Rugby League tournament were fighting for a spot in the Kiwi Ferns squad.

Benson says, “Well what we've just got dished up on the field is exactly what we're looking for. We need a bit more aggression down the middle, and we certainly saw that.”

The ANZAC test was a memorable debut for Madison Bartlett and Bunty Kuruwaka-Crowe. This experience will help their chances of selection.

"It was a learning experience for Madison. She went over as 18th man and did a good job. She picked a lot up and I seen her game here. Bunty was the same."

Kuruwaka-Crowe says she's still getting used to the idea of being an international player, “I learned that I had to just trust myself and just believe in myself that I was chosen for a reason.”

Benson believes his team needs to go back to running up the middle, which is a strength of New Zealand Rugby League.

"I think the ANZAC test we probably didn't take a decent middle to them. Looking there, we're pretty confident."

Despite having a reputation as a hard hitter, Kuruwaka-Crowe has many areas to work on should she be selected.

“Fitness, of course, eat right. Learn to push the 'unders'."

Benson says, "We'll be working hard on our conditioning, fitness, and our power, our strength. And then obviously our skill level, and coming up with a game that is going to beat both Australia and England."

The team will go back to playing for their club sides, which will also be a final opportunity to be selected for Tony Benson's final squad