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Country lock Pypah Ferguson's blood runs maroon

Queensland Under 17 Country lock Pypah Ferguson is pumped to be on the same trajectory as sister Jada Ferguson and cousin, Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons star Shenae Ciesiolka. 

The Country side is the first step on the pathway to the Queensland Under 19 side – a side her older sister, the Norths Devils BMD Premiership captain, has played in - and the Maroons.  

“It’s very exciting,” Pypah said, adding playing for the Maroons was her ultimate goal.

Pypah in camp. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Pypah in camp. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

“It’s great to get this experience and be able to play in such a high-quality game at this age, is good. I had the opportunity last year as well, which was so good.” 

The 16-year-old, who captained the Western Clydesdales Harvey Norman Under 17 side and played in the Harvey Norman Under 19 side for the final few rounds and semi-final, first played rugby league aged 11.  

“My brothers and sister played so just wanted to give it a go and just played everything I could that gave me the opportunity in Toowoomba,” Pypah said. 

What a weapon: Pypah Ferguson

Pypah said seeing the success her sister and cousin were experiencing inspired her to work hard to achieve those same successes. 

“You see them like training and putting the work in... I just want to get to that level and get to where they are,” she said. 

"So I just keep working with them and whenever they get home, go on a run with them even if I am a bit behind.... seeing everything they do makes me want to get there and play alongside them. 

“They say to just keep working hard and always do the little things... the one percenters.” 

Pypah said she just loved everything about the game. 

“To get out there, tackle people, run hard, play good footy alongside some really amazing girls who have the same passion and just want to do well, is what it’s all about,” she said. 

Pypah training with Country. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Pypah training with Country. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

“Ali Brigginshaw is also amazing to look up, especially with her playing Clydesdales now, she’s so close.  

“And with the boys, JT obviously killed the game when he was in Origin, and Cameron Munster always pulls something out. 

“To be able to get to that level would mean everything. To play at such a high standard, playing for your family, representing your community, for me a little town out of the city, to represent your state, would be such an honour and I'd just love to have that opportunity and I’ll do whatever I can to get there.” 

Pypah said she would be digging deep against City on Saturday. 

“I’ll do everything I can for the girls, lead by example and just put in the work... do all the little one percenters to try and get the win,” she said. 

“Watch out City.” 

Country coach Jo Kerr said Pypah would be key for her side on Saturday. 

“She’s a workhorse... she’s got a really good work rate and you know she’ll get out there and do the job that you need her to,” Kerr said, adding the whole squad was strong. 

“I think the thing that we found out last year was that country girls are really resilient and that’s got to be something to do with them being country girls... you know they will all put their head down and do the work.  

“A l of the girls that are here are all excited for the opportunity and I don’t think they want to let anyone down. 

“There’s a really good attitude with the girls... I know they will all play for each other.” 

Kerr said if the girls left camp having learned something new and having had a good time, her job was done. 

“Obviously winning is great but for these girls, it’s just a step in the right direction on their pathway,” Kerr said. 

“So if they learn a bit more about themselves and themselves as a footballer, then that’s a good thing. 

“There's a lot of girls that will aspire to play Origin, certainly, but there’s some that probably haven’t played much rep footy before and this could be the spark that lights the fire in them to go further.  

“Makayla Elliott was with us last year and before that I don’t think she really had aspirations, but she’s seen the light now and she’s been working really hard to make sure she was back this year because she knows that’s something she wants to do now, which is pretty cool. 

“It’s a massive thing to make these teams, to be selected in that final 18. Go Country.”  

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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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