Canterbury women's rugby side likely to have home semi-final
Canterbury's Sui Pauaraisa will go from rugby league to rugby union and possibly league again in a matter of weeks if she's called into the Kiwi Ferns World Cup team.
Pauaraisa has been named as a non- travelling reserve for the national side, who begin their cup campaign alongside the men during the tournament, which kicks off on October 27.
The Suburbs club rugby player has also been called back into the Canterbury women's rugby starting line-up to play their last round-robin match against Wellington at Linfield Park on Saturday.
Coach Wayne Love said Pauaraisa will be a welcome addition and had only been out of the team due to her training commitments with the Kiwi Ferns, which he was happy to accommodate.
*Canty move to top of Farah Palmer Cup
The openside flanker will bring plenty of grit to the side as she was one of the best defenders all season and had much to prove to the rugby league selectors.
Pauaraisa has started often for Canterbury this season and done little wrong, so it was an easy decision to call her back into the side, Love said.
"She's pretty dynamic, a good tackler and her work rate is high."
Love said her competition, Lucy Jenkins, had held the spot well and was due for a rest.
Canterbury need just one competition point in order to gain a home semi, which means they could secure it through a loss within seven, a draw or a win.
"We want to win it and we want to carry on our momentum we've gained this season."
Love had been impressed with his side's performances this season, but felt there were a few work-ons such as continuity. He admitted this was hard to do, as the Farah Palmer Cup competition was a short season.
Canterbury had been cursed with slow starts to their games, with the opposition often scoring the first points of the match and them having to come back from a deficit.
Love expected Wellington to be a physical side up front as many of its players had a considerable size advantage.
The JJ Stewart Trophy, which Canterbury won back in week four of the competition, will again be on the line in Christchurch on Saturday. The winner of the match will retain the trophy until next season.
The match kicks at 11.30am.
AT A GLANCE:
Canterbury Women's rugby team to play Wellington: Phillipa Love, Jess Hansen, Stephanie Te Ohaere Fox (C), Alana Bremner, Estelle Uren, Nicole Purdom, Sui Pauaraisa, Rebecca Todd, Kendra Cocksedge, Charntay Poko, Melanie Puckett, Lucy Anderson, Corrina Whiley, Sam Curtis, Grace Brooker
Nina Poletti, Usipua Simaile, Kaylee Tavendale, Charna Thompson, Rosie Kelly, Cassie Siataga, Olivia McGoverne