Nuuausala comes into her own
This Friday night's Women's Trans-Tasman Test will be a redemption tale of sorts for Kiwi Ferns back-rower Annetta Nuuausala, who is set to make her full debut for New Zealand.
Nuuausala represented the Kiwi Ferns at the Auckland Nines in February but failed to play the final two games of the series due to a lack of fitness.
The younger sister of Raiders firebrand Frank-Paul Nuuausala became quite emotional when quizzed about her stint at the Auckland Nines and said it was her "lowest point".
"The Nines experience did help me heaps. It helped with my club footy and I took it back with me and now I'm one of the senior players which gives me a boost. I'm back now for the Kiwis and I can't wait. It is redemption," Nuuausala told NRL.com.
"Being here now makes me feel more confident. I'd never thought I'd be here, it's been five years in the making so I'm pretty stoked.
"I was nervous last week but I think now that I'm here [in Newcastle] I'm more excited. It's time for me to steal my brother's spotlight now."
Nuuausala is now ready to embark on the path her brother has set for her over his decade-long NRL career.
Frank-Paul has managed 15 Test caps for the Kiwis so far in his career, as his little sister gears up for her first.
"He set the bar for us younger ones. He gave me a path to follow I guess. League wasn't really my sport back then but to see him get to where he is now he's inspired us younger ones," Nuuausala told NRL.com.
"I was playing netball before I made the move and it was just too soft for me. I needed a contact sport.
"It was cool then to watch him from New Zealand make his own path. He wasn't doing so well and then I guess the Roosters helped him and I'm so happy for him now."
Nuuausala's usually softly-spoken brother has been calling her all week so far in effort to give her advice.
"He's been telling me to get out there and make a name for myself," she said.
"He called me [on Tuesday] and told me just before he went to the airport that a reporter called him [about me]. I said to him back 'now it's the other way around and I'm making you famous'," she laughed.
As for the Jillaroos, Nuuausala is cautious of one individual in particular: their skipper Ruan Sims.
"I saw her and she's real big. I'll probably just pat her head and tell her 'I'm a big fan'," Nuuausala laughed. "I rate her to be honest. I think she's better than her brothers."