The inaugural Harvey Norman Women's Country versus City Origin clash at North Sydney Oval on Sunday sees one of Rugby League’s oldest traditions continue, albeit in a new form and fixture.
As the door was shut on the once-annual Men’s Country-City Origin fixture in Mudgee last weekend, the window of opportunity opens for the Women’s representatives in this clash, with their hopes to secure a place in the NSW Interstate Challenge team to take on the Maroons at the fore.
NSWRL Pathways Performance Manager Jamie Feeney says Sunday’s historic clash will be a ‘genuine’ trial for positions in the Women’s Blues side.
“The Country-City clash is a great tradition and it’s a proper selection trial for our upcoming Interstate Challenge against Queensland in July,” Feeney said.
“We are hopeful that we will select more than half a dozen women from tomorrow's match into the NSW side.
“And it’s important to keep the great tradition of Country-City alive, it’s been a big part of our game for a long time, and so it should remain in this format.”
In what has already been a big year for Women’s Rugby League in NSW, the Country-City fixture is set to ensure the female game continues to go from strength-to-strength in the years to come.
“The Women’s game is going to continue to grow, there’s plenty of interest around it, both on and off the field,” Feeney says.
“Working with the Jillaroos, you see some phenomenal athletes, some sensational talents. I’m sure the girls that feature on Sunday aspire to get to those levels in their careers.”
The Harvey Norman NSW Women’s City-Country Shield will kick off at 1pm at North Sydney Oval before the Round 10 Intrust Super Premiership NSW fixture between the North Sydney Bears and the Newtown Jets.
2017 Women's Country squad
1. Brittany Constable (Berkeley)
2. Rikeya Horne (Corrimal)
3. Jayme Fressard (Berkeley Vale)
4. Donna Sutton (North Newcastle)
5. Amy Broadhead (North Newcastle)
6. Talia Atfield (Nowra-Bomaderry)
7. Kylie Hilder (North Newcastle)
8. Georgina Brooker (Corrimal)
9. Tammy Fletcher (Corrimal)
10. Jennaya Ottaway (Goulburn Workers)
11. Erin Blackwell (Helensburgh)
12. Phoebe Desmond (North Newcastle)
13. Margaret Watson (North Newcastle)
14. Alicia-Kate Hawke (Corrimal)
15. Jerry Burgmann (North Newcastle)
16. Jade Etherden (Corrimal)
17. Hollie Wheeler (North Newcastle)
18. Brooke Carter (South Newcastle)
19. Samantha Wood (Queanbeyan United)
20. Alicia Martin (North Newcastle)
Coach: Mick Young
2017 Women's City squad
1. Tahlia Hunter - Glenmore Park Brumbies
2. Taleena Simon - Redfern All Blacks
3. Nikia Davis-Welsh - Redfern All Blacks
4. Karri Dyle - Redfern All Blacks
5. Kate Mullaly - Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks
6. Lavina Phillips - Redfern All Blacks
7. Allana Ferguson - Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks
8. Eunice Grimes - Redfern All Blacks
9. Rebecca Riley - Redfern All Blacks
10. Ruby Ewe - Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks
11. Talesha Quinn - Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks
12. Jasmin Allende - Redfern All Blacks
13. Nicole Backhouse - Forestville Ferrets
14. Kayla Peck - Forestville Ferrets
15. Vanessa Foliak - Brisbane Easts
16. Kaarla Cowan - Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks
17. Botille Vette-Welsh - Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks
18. Lisa Tauariki - Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks
19. Kyara Nean - Redfern All Blacks
20. Ashlee Harrison - Penrith Panthers – Tarsha Gale Cup
Coach: Chris Studdon