You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Jeffries ready for new challenge with Women's Indigenous All Stars

Ben Jeffries is diving straight back into the representative arena, returning to the helm of the Women’s Indigenous All Stars team in 2023 after guiding the PNG Orchids to a history-making World Cup campaign.

A women’s coaching journey that began as the mentor for a Queensland Murri selection trial, Jeffries has since gone on to coach not only the Orchids and the Women’s Indigenous All Stars in the past 12 months but also the Queensland Under 19 Girls representative side.

More recently, Jeffries – who has also worked in an assistant capacity with the Queensland Maroons – has also been named the inaugural coach of the Cowboys NRLW side, who will join the competition next season.

“The first year I started coaching (women’s rugby league) … I coached the under 14 North Queensland Marlins which is quite ironic, because it had girls in it like (women’s Indigenous All Stars representative) Jasmine Peters, that was 2016; and in the same year at the back end of that year, I coached the Queensland Murri team which went against the NSW Kooris, which was the old trialling system for the All Stars,” Jeffries said.

Preparation for next year’s ground-breaking match, which will be played in New Zealand for the first time in the concept’s history, is already in full swing and Jeffries was looking forward to the challenge of preparing the side to play on foreign soil for the first time.

Jeffries' Indigenous side defeated the Maori All Stars 18-8 at CommBank Stadium in 2022. 

Match Highlights: Maori Women v Indigenous Women

“All Stars is a different challenge this year, we’re going ‘off-site’, going over the ditch basically, but that should be awesome," Jeffries said. 

“New Zealand haven’t had too much football the last couple of years either, so that should be an awesome atmosphere to be honest.

“They’ve got a really proud history as we do, they will be looking to put a show on and I’m sure they are going to try and bombard us, which is part and parcel of it.

“So I am really looking forward to seeing how the Indigenous team play and how they challenge themselves in a different arena on foreign territory.

“We’ve got a bit of a camp this weekend that’s more cultural, but it’s to bring all of the players that are in the mix to this All Stars campaign and obviously try and show some of the younger ones the pathway as well to give them an opportunity to see what’s involved.

“And the World Cup players who have just played are obviously exempt for this camp. They can come of their own accord, but they are not expected to do anything physical.

“Obviously we have got some seasoned campaigners there and going off the back of the World Cup, we fielded our strongest contingent of Indigenous players at a World Cup which is a massive tick from our point of view; that’s where we want them to get to, to play in the highest level which is the Jillaroos.

“They all had really good campaigns and enjoyed the experience and will certainly be at the forefront of the selection process, but we have some young ones coming through who have come through the PM’s XIII who may put themselves in the spotlight.”

Youi Stories of Change: From a Small Town to the Big League

In the lead up to the game, Jeffries will again be joined by assistant coaches Jess Skinner – who has also returned from World Cup duty where she was an assistant coach with the triumphant Australian Jillaroos – and former women’s Indigenous All Stars captain Bec Young.

“I have formed a really good relationship with Jess and Bec,” Jeffries said.

“Bec, I obviously coached in 2020, but she was earmarked keep coaching after that and she’s certainly done well and all three of us have got a really good working relationship so really looking forward to that part of the camp and obviously the other staff who have been reemployed, we have pretty much a similar staff so …

“And then helping, Jess and Bec, progress through their coaching careers as well.”

All three appointments were made following consultation via a panel comprising former All Stars coach Laurie Daley, Indigenous Pathways Manager, Timana Tahu, Kangaroos Coach Mal Meninga and Jillaroos coach Brad Donald.

The group assessed potential candidates and consulted with both the Indigenous Players Advisory Group and the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council prior to the coaches being selected.

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.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners