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Central Queensland Capras: BMD Premiership gains and losses for 2023

Lillian Yarrow will tick off one of her major career goals this Saturday when she makes her BMD Premiership debut for the Central Queensland Capras.

The 18-year-old was told last week that her Round 3 Harvey Norman Under 19s clash against Mackay Cutters would be her final match at that level, as she moves through the pathways to the BMD Premiership.

For the talented young forward, it’s an absolute dream come true after the Central Queensland Harvey Norman Under 19s started training with the BMD Premiership squad during pre-season.

“It was so us younger girls could learn and gain as much as we could off the older girls,” Yarrow said of the pre-season combination.

“I was working closely with (coach) Amanda (Ohl) and a lot of the previous women from the year before, like Sharni Upton and Gemma Brennan and Mariah (Denman).

“Last week I found out it was my last game for the Harvey Norman Under 19s. Amanda told me that I was finished in the 19s competition which was really exciting and it opens up a lot of opportunities for me in the game.

“I will have my debut this weekend against Tweed. My goal this year was to play BMD. Working with those girls, I think it just put my foot in the door and obviously working with Amanda opened up that opportunity too.”

Lillian Yarrow representing Queensland Country Under 17s in 2021.
Lillian Yarrow representing Queensland Country Under 17s in 2021.

Yarrow started playing rugby league for the Rockhampton Tigers when she was six, playing with the boys until she turned 12.

From there her main opportunities came through school league at Emmaus College and she played for a number of representative teams, including the Central Crows and schoolgirls.

When she was 14, she started playing for the Capras in an under 17s competition and from that was selected for the Queensland Country Under 17 Girls in 2021 before joining Harvey Norman Under 19s.

Each step has helped shape Yarrow into the player she is today, all the way back to those junior years.

“I started when I was six years old playing with the boys in the local league,” she said.

“That was a bit of a challenge with them being bigger, stronger and faster but it made me a better player in the long run. It made me want it more.

“To go from Under 19s to BMD, it’s really a privilege. It’s a really special opportunity for me to have this pathway… it’s exciting to be able to go to that next level with the women’s.

“My ultimate goal is to eventually be in the NRLW and pursuing my dream there. But at the moment BMD is my main priority and my main focus is to stay consistent in that competition, working and earning my spot each week. BMD is the right pathway and a great opportunity.”

Yarrow will be joined in her debut by fellow Harvey Norman Under 19s teammate, Kirby Richardson, who will start at centre with Yarrow coming off the bench.

The young players coming through will be a boost for the 2022 runners-up, with nine players from their grand final team exiting the club in 2023.

But Yarrow is confident the talent and team bonds that exist at Central Queensland will see them continue last season’s success into this year.

While she is certainly expecting Saturday’s clash with Tweed Seagulls to be a challenge, she is grateful for everything she has learned from her fellow Capras so far.

“I’m expecting the physicality to be a lot harder and the speed of the game obviously to be a lot faster,” she said.

“But one of the main things I’m looking forward to is the quality of players I’m playing with and against. The BMD competition is a container for some of the world’s best players in the female game.

“It’s really a privilege for me to be called up this weekend. For me the best thing about this team is just the support they’ve given me on and off the field.

“When we’re away from training the girls are texting, making sure I’m understanding everything, getting around me, which I really do appreciate. It means a lot that they’re taking their time to help me develop.”

Outside of the strong bonds Yarrow has developed at the club, she says the biggest influence on her career has been her dad, Simon Yarrow.

He unfortunately won’t be at her debut game at Browne Park on Saturday, but he will be watching from afar.

“My biggest influence would have to be my dad, 100 per cent,” Yarrow said.

“He’s pretty much shaped me as a person and a player. It’s very special to have that connection. He supports me and drives me.

“He got called away for work (ahead of her debut) but he told me he’ll definitely be watching on the livestream.”

Central Queensland Capras 2023 gains and losses


Shauna Barnham, Naomi Clayton, Sarah Field, Tahnee Holt, Layne Ivey, Ihndara McLeod, Tamika Olive, Kirby Richardson, Courtney Robinson, Tarni Smith, Jaclyn Spencer, Peyton Storch, Pania Tane, Rachel Walsh, Lillian Yarrow


Keysha Baker, Hayley Maddick, Emmanita Paki, Tylah Phillips, Emily Powell, Jessica Powell, Kailah Rogers, Pani Rupapere, Krissy Vaalepu

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