The Dragons’ Shaylee Bent was named as a shadow player in last year’s NSW Women’s Origin squad, and despite not taking part in their 14-4 win, the experience will have her in good stead for making an Origin debut in 2020.
Having first played Rugby League only five years ago as a 15-year-old for Glenmore Park, Bent’s impressive pathway to the top level has been well-deserved. In 2017, Bent played for the Parramatta Eels in the Harvey Norman Tarsha Cup Under-18s competition, before making the switch to the Wests Tigers for a preliminary final appearance the following year.
Bent’s first major success came later in 2018, playing at centre for Mounties in the Harvey Norman NSW Woman’s Premiership, who went on to defeat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-10 in the Grand Final.
After plenty of success early on in her career, Bent rose to prominence last season in what was a breakout year for the Penrith-born star – representing the Indigenous Women’s All-Stars for the first time, earning selection in the NSW Women’s Origin extended squad, making an NRLW debut for the Dragons on the way to a grand final appearance, and playing for the Jillaroos in October’s World Cup Nines tournament.
Bent’s 2020 season began in style as the Dragons produced a runaway 28-4 victory over the Broncos to claim the NRL Women’s Nines title. Just seven days later, she was part of a 6-point win in her second appearance for the Indigenous Women’s All-Stars.
She was also one of South Sydney's best in this year's Harvey Norman NSW Women's Premiership campaign, helping them to the opening week of the finals.
Despite not having the same success with the Dragons in this year’s instalment of the NRLW competition - including recent injuries to fellow statesmen Kezie Apps and Isabelle Kelly - there is no doubt that Shaylee Bent is well on track to earn her first State of Origin cap for the showpiece event at Sunshine Coast Stadium in November.