Harvey Norman Jillaroos Coach Brad Donald has named four debutants, including Sharks star Talesha Quinn, in the team to face the Cook Islands first up in the 2017 Women’s Rugby League World Cup at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Quinn, Nakia Davis-Welsh, Meg Ward and Lavina O’Mealey will run out in the green and gold for their first official match for Australia, alongside an experienced Jillaroos team.
Veteran Steph Hancock will captain the team, which features five players from the 2013 World Cup squad, while Ruan Sims has been rested and Corban McGregor named on an extended interchange bench in jersey 18.
“Our squad has trained well over the last couple of weeks in particular and everyone is looking forward to the game experience and the opportunity to represent Australia on home soil,” Donald said.
“I congratulate the team picked to face the Cook Islands and particularly to our three debutants, who have worked hard to secure their spots.
“The Cook Islands will be tough competition first up, with plenty of speed and power amongst their team, and we’ll need to be prepared for whatever they throw at us.”
The Jillaroos take on the Cook Islands on Thursday afternoon at 4:00pm AEST at Southern Cross Group Stadium in the second of three first round World Cup games.
Canada and New Zealand will open the Women’s World Cup at 1.45pm, followed by the Australia v Cook Islands game, with England playing PNG at 6.30pm.
Tickets and information regarding the 2017 Women’s Rugby League World Cup tournament is available at www.rlwc2017.com with prices starting from $10 for the triple-header pool matches.
All women’s matches will be broadcast on free-to-air coverage on Channel Seven and streamed live across the ‘screens of Seven’. Refer to local guides for coverage details.
Jillaroos squad of 19 to face the Cook Islands
1. Nakia Davis-Welsh (debut)
2. Karina Brown – Jillaroo # 118
3. Annette Brander – Jillaroo # 127
4. Isabelle Kelly – Jillaroo # 141
5. Meg Ward (debut)
6. Ali Brigginshaw – Jillaroo # 102
7. Caitlin Moran – Jillaroo # 140
8. Steph Hancock (captain) – Jillaroo # 74
9. Brittany Breayley – Jillaroo # 128
10. Rebecca Young – Jillaroo # 117
11. Vanessa Foliaki – Jillaroo # 129
12. Talesha Quinn (debut)
13. Zahara Temara – Jillaroo # 143
14. Maddie Studdon – Jillaroo # 130
15. Lavina O’Mealey (debut)
16. Simaima Taufa – Jillaroo # 131
17. Kezie Apps – Jillaroo # 126
18. Corban McGregor – Jillaroo # 139
19. Heather Ballinger – Jillaroo # 113