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Chantay Kiria-Ratu: 'It is a huge privilege to play for Queensland'

Chantay Kiria-Ratu has only been playing rugby league for two years and credits older brother Jayrome for her stellar rise through the ranks.

The Queensland Under 19 playmaker has also been nurtured by the outstanding sporting program at rugby league powerhouse Keebra Park State High.

Chantay, just 17, is playing in the BMD Premiership with Tweed Seagulls.

As she prepared to take on New South Wales in Sydney on Thursday night she gave a shout-out to one of her biggest supporters.

“My older brother Jayrome loves the game and he has been supporting my league all the way through,” Chantay said.

“He will watch all the footage of me playing, and send me other footage from the NRL that he thinks has good plays worth looking at.

“He is always pushing me to be the best that I can. He is probably my biggest supporter, along with my mum. He sends me all my highlights and how I can look back and improve my game.

“His best advice is ‘go out and give it your all’. I am still young and my opportunities will come.”

Mum Maryanne and dad Andrew have been huge supports to Chantay.

“My inspiration is my family. They have always been committed and supportive since I started playing sport,” she said.

“Family means a lot to me. My mum and dad always find a way to get to my games and I am pretty lucky because they are flying down from the Goldie to watch me play Origin.

“This is the top team I have ever made for league. It is a huge privilege to play for Queensland. It is something to be proud of.”

Chantay, who moved to Australia from New Zealand in 2011, began playing rugby league when she attended Keebra Park High School two years ago.

“From the moment I played at Keebra I just loved it. Then I played club for the Parkwood Sharks in the under 16s,” the Year 12 student said.

“There have been some big names come out of Keebra Park and our school has a great pathway, with a girls sport academy which is what I am in at the moment.

“That has been a good prep’ for me because that is where it all started for me with league.”

Chantay has played a couple of games at centre for the Tweed Seagulls but halfback is her favourite position and where she is making a name for herself.

Queensland Under 19 coach Ben Jeffries, a huge fan, agrees.

“Chantay has got vision. She has got speed, all the credentials to be a good footballer,” Jeffries said.

“She is relaxed, which is something as coaches we look at. She doesn’t get flustered and that is crucial in a pivotal position like halfback. Hopefully we can help her play well.”

The expansion of the NRLW competition to 10 teams next year, and the addition of the Titans this season, has been welcomed by Chantay.

“I was with the Titans last season in development…vand that does give me inspiration to follow my dreams,” she said.

“The game is becoming so much bigger for younger girls. We are seeing more and more come through the system and more being able to play NRLW.”


Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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