North Queensland has produced a number of top-class women's rugby league players.
From the greats of the game in Renae Kunst and Brittany Breayley-Nati to the young stars of today in Romy Teitzel and Shaniah Power, the talent continues to come through.
Now this weekend, the next generation will battle it out to be crowned the best Under 17 girls' representative team in the North - and for players to put forward their names for the 2022 Queensland Under 17 Country team.
Mackay, Townsville, Far North Queensland and a North Queensland United side - made up of representatives from Mount Isa and the Torres Strait/Weipa - will come together in Townsville in what is set to be a thrilling two days of football at the Under 17 Girls North Queensland Championships.
This next generation will also be playing for potential spots in the Country side, which will be selected in conjunction with the Central region.
Here are five of the players set to take to the field this weekend for their towns and vie for a representative jersey.
Gracie Watt - Mackay
Club: Walkerson Wanderers
Position: Lock, front row, second row – anywhere in the forwards really.
Born and bred: Mackay
Started playing rugby league: I started in grade eight, about four years ago. I just thought it was really cool. A few of my friends had started and I thought I’d give it a go.
Greatest achievement in rugby league: Probably our St Pat’s (school) team coming second in the first girls Confraternity Shield this year.
Favourite NRL and/or NRLW team: In the NRL it’s definitely the Cowboys and NRLW that’s a tricky one … I do like Gold Coast and Broncos. I do stick with my Queensland teams but I'm waiting for the Cowboys NRLW next year.
Favourite NRL and/or NRLW player: Kotoni Staggs. I think he’s a really awesome player. In the NRLW it's probably Kezie Apps
Greatest influence: Probably Dave Bella. He was my club coach last year and the year before that. He’s been a big influence for me. It’s just the way he coaches. He tries to give everyone a go. Even when I first started with him, it was my second year of league and I was in under 17s after being in under 14s and he gave me a bit of confidence and encouraged me.
What it means to represent your region: It’s a really cool thing. There’s a lot of people who put a lot into Mackay girls’ footy and it’s cool we get to represent that and do it to the best of our ability when we go away for it. It means a lot to the people back home. We have a lot of supporters. It’s also good to represent our region for ourselves and show how far it’s come over the years.
Rugby league goals: It’s the same as anyone else. I want to make the NRLW one day but the main goal is to play the best I can play.
Anna Lifu – NQ United (Thursday Island representative)
Club: We don’t have clubs that we play for here. There is only open men’s and women’s.
Age: 15, turning 16
Position: Halfback or lock
Born and bred: Thursday Island
Started playing rugby league: I started playing when I was probably 10, just taking part in clinics up here.
Greatest achievement in rugby league: It's just playing with my friends and making my family proud.
Favourite NRL and/or NRLW team: NRLW is the Broncos.
Favourite NRL and/or NRLW player: Hagiga Mosby. I know her from up here. She lives on Thursday Island as well and I’ve trained with her before. She’s a big inspiration for me. I’ve always looked up to her, ever since I’ve known her. It pushes me knowing that if someone up here can do it, I can as well.
Greatest influence: Hagiga and Ali Brigginshaw.
What it means to represent your region: It makes me feel proud.
Rugby league goals: I want to train hard and try to get into an NRLW team.
Chelsea Page – NQ United (Mount Isa representative)
Club: Plays for Country in Mount Isa's City and Country concept
Position: Halfback and centre
Born and bred: Mount Isa
Started playing rugby league: It was three to four years ago. There was a bunch of girls who really wanted to play and they said I should play too so it all started from there. I was a bit scared to play before that because when you’re younger in Mt Isa there’s no girls' teams, it’s always mixed.
Greatest achievement in rugby league: Probably playing for Outback Queensland. We just went to Coolum for the Rees Orman City Country Cultural Exchange. It was my first year and it was amazing. Playing down there was really good.
Favourite NRL and/or NRLW team: Cowboys.
Favourite NRL and/or NRLW player: Probably Selwyn Cobbo. He’s a really good player and a good person outside of football too from what I’ve watched.
Greatest influence: I wouldn’t really know, actually.
What it means to represent your region: It’s a really big deal. It’s Outback and we don’t get much out here. To go to Townsville and show them how we play, it’s really good to represent Outback.
Rugby league goals: Probably to be a good player and a good sportswoman outside of footy in general.
Hannah De Daunton – Townsville
Club: Western Lions
Position: Lock and captain of the Townsville team.
Born and bred: I was born in Gladstone but grew up in Townsville.
Started playing rugby league: It was four years ago in 2018. A few of my mates played and they convinced me to join and I found out I really liked it and kept playing.
Greatest achievement in rugby league: Probably being part of the Harvey Norman Under 19 competition with the Blackhawks at the start of this year. It was great, especially with a few more experienced players in there as well. That and the Northern school sport competitions.
Favourite NRL and/or NRLW team: NRL is the Cowboys, if not the Broncos. NRLW is the Broncos.
Favourite NRL and/or NRLW player: I have to go with someone like Johnathan Thurston or Darren Lockyer. My dad’s a big Broncos fan so we all grew up watching Darren Lockyer.
Greatest influence: I don’t know if I have one.
What does it mean to represent your region: It means quite a bit, especially being in the starting team and being captain, that’s pretty huge. I was pretty excited.
Rugby league goals: At the end of the year I'd like to get in that Under 19s team again and then we have all the Gold Stars and Cowboys pathways coming up next year as well. It would be pretty awesome to make that one day.
Mikayla Coleman - FNQRL
Club: FNQ Girls. We play on Friday nights against small towns like Mareeba. We don’t have enough girls to make teams around our area.
Position: Winger and halfback
Born and bred: Cairns
Started playing rugby league: Just this year. I used to be a touch player and my friends asked me to play union. I enjoyed that and thought I would try league as well.
Greatest achievement in rugby league: Probably just making friends.
Favourite NRL and/or NRLW team: The Cowboys and the Gold Stars (BMD Premiership).
Favourite NRL and/or NRLW player: For the men, Jeremiah Nanai, and for the girls, I really like Newcastle player Katelyn Vaha'akolo. Tahlulah Tillett is another one of my favourites.
Greatest influence: Even though I haven’t seen her play, it would be my coach, Jo Kerr. She’s someone that makes me want to play with the way she breaks stuff down and helps us.
What does it mean to represent your region: I’m very proud to be able to go down to Townsville as a team and show our team effort and how we play.
Rugby league goals: Probably make it to the NRLW.