NSW Stars In Jillaroos Squad

Nine members of the NSW Women’s Rugby League side have been selected for the Jillaroos to play the NZ Kiwi Ferns as a curtain-raiser to the Four Nations clash between the Holden Kangaroos and Samoa at WIN Stadium, Wollongong, on Sunday, November 9.

Alex Sulusi, Elianna Walton, Simaima Taufa-Kautai and Vanessa Folia (all Canley Heights), Kezie Apps, Maddison Studdon, Ruan Sims and Sam Hammond (all Helensburgh) and Julie Young (Maitland) are NSW players to have been named in the 18-woman squad. All except Young represented their state this year. The Australian selections follow NSW’s competitive effort in July against a Queensland side that has proven one of the most successful in rugby league history.

NSW Women’s Rugby League coach and former St George Illawarra and Wests Tigers NRL halfback Mat Head said the selections were reflective of his team’s improved efforts.

“I’m extremely proud of the NSW girls’ selections in the Jillaroos side, particularly with this being my first season,” said Head.

“Working with them all this year, they are all such professional operators and to see their dreams of playing representative footy become a reality is great.

“While it was unfortunate we didn’t win our Origin clash this year, the fact both NSW and Queensland have nine representatives each shows we’re making the right steps and that gap is closing.”

One of the NSW women in line for an Australian debut is back-rower Kezie Apps, who only this year started playing full-contact rugby league. Apps’ progress, Head believes, is reflective the dedication of his side’s players.

“Kezie was playing league tag this time last year – her development has been tremendous,” said Head.

“The women in the NSW side, they all bought in and have come on in leaps and bounds.

“They’re all working or studying and some are mums, and their hard work and dedication towards footy, while juggling other parts of their life, has been rewarded.”

The team captain to lead the Jillaroos into battle will be announced in the coming weeks. The team will go into camp on November 3.

Click here to read more about Apps' rise to prominence.

2014 Jillaroos Team

Name

Club

2013 World Cup/ Debutant

Alex Sulusi

Canley Heights, NSW

WC

Ali Brigginshaw

Souths Logan, QLD

WC

Annette Brander

Beerwah, QLD

D

Brittany Breayley

North Ipswich, QLD

D

Karina Brown

Burleigh , QLD

WC

Deanna Turner

Mackay, QLD

WC

Elianna Walton

Canley Heights, NSW

WC

Heather Ballinger

Souths Logan, QLD

WC

Jenni-Sue Hoepper

Cairns, QLD

WC

Julie Young

Maitland, NSW

WC

Kezie Apps

Helensburgh, NSW

D

Maddison Studdon

Helensburgh, NSW

D

Renae Kunst

Souths Logan, QLD

WC

Ruan Sims

Helensburgh, NSW

WC

Sam Hammond (pictured)

Helensburgh, NSW

WC

Simaima Taufa-Kautai

Canley Heights, NSW

D

Steph Hancock

Souths Logan, QLD

WC

Vanessa Folia

Canley Heights, NSW

D