Front rower Lisone will move to Leeds pre-season on a two-year contract, increasing the odds that Hale will join Rhinos, the reigning champions of the Betfred Women’s Super League.
Lisone has played for Samoa and has appeared in 133 NRL games with the New Zealand Warriors and Gold Coast Titans, where he has spent the last three seasons.
Hale, 27, plays free forward or halftime for the Gold Coast in women’s competition and started her career with the Warriors.
He’s in England as assistant captain of Kiwi Ferns’ World Cup team and told The Yorkshire Evening Post: “I’m seeing Gary. [Hetherington, Rhinos’ chief executive]which would be really nice, kind of having an idea about the club.
“I want to be involved somehow. I haven’t personally signed it yet, but obviously Sam has it signed and it would be nice if I could do something similar, but being in the World Cup is at the forefront right now.”
Signing Hale would be a huge blow to the female side of Rhinos. “I’m going to wrap up the Rugby League World Cup campaign here and then I’ll go back to the Gold Coast, get Sam and then we’ll move here to Leeds.
“We’re both coming, it’s very exciting. We’re young and have the opportunity to travel and explore, but also you don’t play football for a long period of your life, so it’s great, we have an opportunity here in Leeds.”
Rhinos confirmed last week that they will be awarding bonuses and incentives to players playing on the women’s team next season, in a big step towards becoming a professional roster.
Leeds were Challenge Cup runners-up this year in addition to winning the Grand Final, and Hale said: “I’ve heard so much good things.
“Just watching the England team and hearing some names associated with the Leeds club is really promising for Leeds and good for the women’s Super League competition to really start.
“Leeds is the champion, which is pretty good and the game is moving in the right direction.”
Lisone will bring strength and experience to the men’s team, and Hale said he is “really looking forward to” his new career.
“It’s a change of scenery for both of us,” he said. “We are trying to seize opportunities and experience. “Sam is a lot of fun to be around, I’m sure he’ll have some character on the team and build good relationships with the players and staff, so I can’t wait to see him shine.”
The New Zealand women are playing their second World Cup fixture as they face the Cook Islands in their hometown of York on Sunday.
It took a while for them to go up against France in the opening game, but then they played outstanding rugby to secure a 46-0 win.
Leeds Rhinos support Gold Coast Titans’ Sam Lisone
“Once we found our feet, we were good at the patches and were able to enjoy our feet,” Hale said.
“I think a little bit of craziness came in and there was a bit of an air of panic, but these are things we can control and I’m sure going forward, these will be areas of focus and we’re going to look at how we can minimize that.” and have more of the pleasure side. ”
England will play their second match against Canada in Wigan on Saturday after starting with a 74-4 win over Brazil.
The Kiwis watched that match on TV and Hale said: “England are off to a strong start, they seem to be a very athletic side.
“They have a good punch in the middle and some outside backs that finished really well. They’re in a different pool than us but I’m sure they will do a great job.
“We could meet them at some stage of the competition, which would be nice, but being here in England they definitely fly their country’s flag very proudly.”
England’s opening was watched at Headingley by a record crowd of more than 8,000 across the northern hemisphere, which Hale described as “wonderful”.
He said: “You could definitely feel the energy from the booth while watching it on tele. It’s pretty cool to have so many people rocking to support the girls on a Tuesday afternoon.”
About the tour so far, Hale said: “I love it. We’ve been here for about a week and were made to feel at home.
“The weather is very similar to New Zealand so we settled in pretty well. We did a few things in York which is beautiful and spent some time in the paddock. We spent equal time both having fun and focusing on footy.”