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XXXX 47th Battalion: 'Whole new ball game' for 2023 women's champions

A wide open women's competition awaits for the XXXX 47th Battalion with Sunshine Coast Falcons carrying the target on their back in Kingaroy on July 13-14.

The Coast beat Rockhampton Rustlers in the final in Emerald last year, with many of the winning squad going on to feature heavily in the Falcons' inaugural BMD Premiership season in 2024, making them ineligible for the upcoming carnival.

But the past means little other than to set a standard for a new-look Sunshine Coast to meet when they go about taking the spoils of victory.

Highly credentialed coach Dennis Moore has taken the reins of the women's side on the back of holding the helm for the men's team last year, and said the squad was out to "start again" and forge their own path.

"It's a whole new ball game," he said.

"It's something for the new lot coming through to aspire to, but they'll create their own team values and where they want to be.

"We're not dwelling on last year or mentioning a lot about it because we're trying to build a new group, we're trying to focus on what we're doing.

"They know what that team achieved, but we're about becoming our own team and it's that different that last year that it doesn't really matter."

Only a handful of players from that team will be involved this time around but there will be plenty of emerging talents ready to step up from the ever-improving Sunshine Coast Gympie Rugby League open women's competition.

Moore started with a squad a of 30 players in preparation for the carnival and will look to fine-tune the squad and combinations leading into their first game on July 13.

"Across the board, everyone, they've been really responsive to whatever I've thrown at them and really happy with the whole group. Everyone's bought into what we're trying to achieve and how we're trying to get there and no one's getting ahead of themselves," he said.

"We keep a lid on it, work from week to week and worry about it when we get there, so to speak.

"All we want to do is get the basics right and be really good at the core components. Once you get that, you can build your game over the weekend... from half to half, as we progress."

More honours could beckon for standout players at the carnival with the lure of Queensland Country selection, but Moore said all that and more would only come on the back of a strong team effort.

"We've spoken about what's available to them, but none of that can be achieved if you don't work through the process that's involved in there, so they need to play well for their club and play well for rep footy and the rest will take care of itself," he said.

Moore said he was otherwise looking forward to the hospitality and atmosphere of the bush in his hometown Kingaroy and hoped his squad enjoyed the experience.

Sunshine Coast will have a bye to start the seven-team competition and could face the Rustlers, or Queensland Outback, in their first match of the carnival, a must-win if they are to have a path to the trophy.

Also featuring in the carnival will be Wide Bay Bulls, featuring players from the host South Burnett region, Gladstone Raidettes, Central Highlands and Toowoomba Clydesdales.

Watch select matches from the XXXX 47th Battalion Memorial Trophy by subscribing to A Round Pass, granting seven days' access, costs $4.99.

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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