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Montaya Hudson: 'Being a country kid, I think it's a huge opportunity'

Montaya Hudson hails from Mt Isa, but lives in Brisbane now as she pursues her dream of playing rugby league professionally.

The 17-year-old has this week had the chance to train alongside the Queensland Sapphires team and thrive in the camp environment, as the next generation prepare for the Harvey Norman Women’s National Championships from May 18.

While she is not yet eligible to play herself, Montaya hopes to represent Queensland in the future and knows she has been given a valuable opportunity.

“It’s a pretty big opportunity,” Montaya said.

In camp with the Sapphires. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
In camp with the Sapphires. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

“Being a country kid, I think it's a huge opportunity to showcase what I have. It’s amazing.

“Wearing the kit feels amazing.”

The Marsden State High School student, who plays fullback, said rugby league had “been in my family for a really long time”.

“My dad played, my brothers play, so it's pretty special that I get to play,” Montaya said, adding her brother Marshall Hudson was part of the North Queensland Cowboys’ junior system.

Running the ball. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Running the ball. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

“I'm originally from Mt Isa. From Townsville, have moved to Brisbane. At school at Marsden now. 

“When I was younger, looking at my brother, playing Queensland, you look up to him and go, 'I want to be like my brother'. As cliché as that sounds, it feels good being in these colours.

“He's way older than me but we played backyard footy, heaps.”

Montaya played for the Brisbane Tigers in this year’s BMD Premiership, “floating around in the backs”, learning from Queensland Maroons great and coach Adrian Vowles.

“Vowlesy is really good,” Montaya said.

Montaya playing for the Tigers. Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL
Montaya playing for the Tigers. Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL

“Has a lot of knowledge, is a great guy, good coach... just knows what he's doing. It's really good I get to learn at such a young age off talented women too.

“I look up to Tamika Upton a lot. Similar position, similar upbringing… country girls. She's actually up there now so it's good to see what she is now, knowing from where she was.”

Sapphires coach Chelsea Baker said Hudson brought “a lot of excitement” to the squad.

“I watched a few of her games from Tigers and she's very vocal out the back. She loves to chat and she's not scared to get her hands on the ball,” Baker said.

“She's a very eyes up player.”

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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