The women’s World Cup gets underway on Thursday when New Zealand face Canada, and Apii Nicholls-Pualau is ready to take the Kiwi’s captains armband for the first time.
Pualau has represented New Zealand in rugby sevens and has been playing League for just two seasons. With former captain Sarina Fiso not being able to play Apii knows the pressure that is on her.
“There is a lot of pressure there because Sarina is pretty much the best fullback in New Zealand,” said Pualau
“I have looked up to her for so long. I used to watch her on TV, so it is pretty special for me to take over that role.”
Before the tournament started Pualau had the opportunity to train with the Cook Islands team but due to a disagreement she decided to represent New Zealand instead.
“I would have been eligible to play for the Cook Island and I got the call from them to join their squad, so I went over and had a few training [sessions] with them,” explained Pualau
“But when I came back the communication between myself and the management wasn’t good, so the Kiwi Ferns gave me an opportunity and I took it.
“It wasn’t such a hard a decision, as soon as I went with New Zealand I knew that was my decision, and I am glad I stuck to it.
“I am looking forward to playing the Cook Islands, I pretty much know half of their team. I think I will be really confident in that game.”