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Jacinta Carter: 'It’s my proudest thing, to wear this colour'

Prop Jacinta Carter is a fierce competitor – she runs hard, tackles hard and as Queensland Under 19 coach Deanne Turner puts it, “she’s a workhorse”.

Carter impressed for Wynnum Manly Seagulls in this year’s BMD Premiership to get a second run in the Queensland Under 19 side.

Strong performances for the Queensland Rubys at the Harvey Norman Women’s National Championship solidified her position.

“It’s very exciting,” Carter said, adding playing for Queensland was a goal “that I’ve had since I was little”.

“Second year this year. I'm really grateful to be here.”

Carter, who has two older brothers, first picked up a rugby league ball at school, playing with the boys, and joined Norths Devils in Under 14s “and went from there”.

“I've always been rough… I like the contact,” Carter said.

“I'm strong, I’m sporty… I’ve always loved sport… I tried lots of different sports and then I found footy and it was just the love of my life.”

Carter, who always loved watching Millie Boyle play as a youngster, said having two older brothers fuelled her love of the game.

“I used to have to go to training and sit there and watch them train out in Rosewood and I just wanted to play so bad, but there were no girls teams then… I was like six,” Carter said.

“I wanted to beat the boys. We’d play backyard footy and sometimes they'd hurt me but then I'd get them good back.

“I played a lot with my cousins too. We've got a big family so we’d play a lot of backyard footy with them. I just always wanted to play.”

Carter - who was at Wynnum Manly for three years, was in the Queensland Under 17 City team in 2021 and the Queensland Under 19 side last year - is at Newcastle now, chasing her dream to play at the highest level she can.

“The last couple of years I've been lucky enough to be in the Broncos development system and now I’m in the Knights for development,” Carter said.

“I was lucky enough to play City Country, Under 17s, then Queensland Under 19s last year. The maroon jersey is something that I've just always loved and dreamed of.

“It’s my proudest thing, to wear this colour… probably more proud to wear a Queensland jersey than an Australian one… I love my state.

“I love representing the people, I love the Queensland culture. We never give up in games. It means the absolute world to me to put this jersey on."

Carter said she was inspired by Ali Brigginshaw and Knights second rower Yasmine Clydesdale.

“I love the way Ali Brigginshaw talks…  her as a captain, she’s amazing,” Carter said.

Jacinta Carter at training. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL
Jacinta Carter at training. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL

“And then I love Yasmine Clydesdale as well. Her chat on the field and she's so supportive at the Knights. She’s been great for me.”

Carter said moving forward, she wanted to put in a strong performance for the Queensland Under 19 side on Thursday and make her NRLW debut with the Knights and one day step up to the Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons.

“I want to debut for Knights and hopefully I get pulled up this year, but definitely top 24 next year and then I want to try and make the women’s Origin squad," Carter said.

Turner said Carter was an asset because “she just does all of the hard things”.

“She just wants to improve… she’s constantly asking questions,” Turner said.

“She has come leaps and bounds over the last few years.”

The Queensland Under 19 side will play New South Wales on Thursday.

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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