Harvey Norman Jillaroos coach Brad Donald has named his history-making squad ahead of the first ever match against the Papua New Guinea Orchids in Port Moresby later this month.
Six women have been named to make their Jillaroo debuts, including representatives from the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the Australian Defence Force teams.
The new faces will join a host of regulars from New South Wales and Queensland on the Gold Coast for a training camp next week, where they will kick off their World Cup preparations before flying out to Papua New Guinea to tackle the Orchids.
With the World Cup just around the corner, Donald said he was glad to be getting the team together and to be able to test them against another World Cup nation away from home.
“This match is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the female game on the international stage. I'm really happy with the group we’ve selected to head across to Papua New Guinea and create a bit of history,” Donald said.
“It's a really good mix of players from right across the country, so to have them come together for a week so close to the World Cup is great for our preparations for later in the year.
“A fair few from this squad have probably yet to experience playing in front of a packed crowd, let alone away from home and against a tough opponent like the PNG Orchids, so I'm eager to see how everyone handles themselves on the day.”
The Jillaroos will take on the PNG national women’s side in the penultimate match of an exciting triple-header on Saturday, September 23 that will open with an Under 16s match between a Rugby League Young Achiever’s and a PNG Select side, before the culminating with the annual PNG Kumuls and Prime Minister's XIII clash.
Several NSW-based Jillaroos representatives were excluded from national duties to participate in the NSWRL’s Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership final series in Sydney occurring on the same weekend.
The Harvey Norman Jillaroos and Prime Minister’s XIII squads will also be involved in a series of events, community visits and coaching clinics while on the ground in Papua New Guinea and are supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Harvey Norman Jillaroos PNG squad
Kezie Apps NSW
Chelsea Baker QLD
Maddison Bennett* WA
Annette Brander QLD
Ali Brigginshaw QLD
Vanessa Foliaki NSW
Steph Hancock QLD
Jenni-Sue Hoepper QLD
Kody House QLD
Amelia Kuk QLD
Renae Kunst QLD
Lucy Lockhart* ADF
Corban McGregor NSW
Talesha Quinn* NSW
Jessica Sergis* NSW
Ruan Sims NSW
Zahara Temara QLD
Sarah Walker* QLD
Elianna Walton NSW
Med Warg* NT
* Denotes Jillaroos debut