THE first Australian women's training camp of the year will assemble on the Gold Coast this week, ahead of a busy year for female rugby league players, which includes state competitions, a State of Origin match, national championships, a Test match and the inaugural women's premiership.
The three-day camp will welcome 52 players from around the country, including Gerringong sisters Ruan and CJ Sims as well as Bomaderry’s Talia Atfield – with players set to complete a series of fitness tests and trials, as well as gain a further understanding of the pathways and competitions ahead.
NRL elite programs manager and Jillaroos coach Brad Donald said he was looking forward to welcoming the women into camp and commencing official preparations for season 2018.
"It's a really exciting time for women's rugby league and we've had some fantastic wins for women in league recently," Donald said.
"In December last year – the same month the Jillaroos won the Rugby League World Cup – we announced the formation of the women's premiership, taking place at the back-end of this year for the first time.
"The camp this weekend will provide an opportunity to continue training and preparations for a big season ahead."
The camp will double as an opportunity for players to trial for the 40 contracted positions ahead of the women's premiership.
The championship takes place in the lead up to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and will see Australia compete against teams including Fiji, Samoa, Canada, Cook Islands and Tonga in a nine-a-side tournament.
Women's training camp squad for February 2018: Ali Brigginshaw, Amelia Kuk, Amie Solomona, Annette Brander, Asipau Mafi, Brittany Breayley, Chelsea Baker, CJ Sims, Courtney Robinson, Heather Ballinger, Jazmyn Taumafai, Karina Brown, Kate Haren, Kody House, Molly O'Connell, Rona Peters, Sarah Walker, Tallulah Tillet, Tallisha Harden, Caitlin Moran, Corban McGregor, Elianna Walton, Isabelle Kelly, Jasmin Allende, Jessica Sergis, Kylie Hilder, Lavina O'Mealey, Maddie Studdon, Nakia Davis-Welsh, Rebecca Young, Rebecca Riley, Ruan Sims, Shontelle Stowers, Simaima Taufa, Tahlia Hunter, Talesha Quinn, Talia Atfield, Vanessa Foliaki, Brittany Constable, Jayme Fressard, Ashlee Harrison, Rikeya Horne, Michaela Peck, Te Aroha Hapuku, Lydia Turua-Quedley, Oneata Schwalger, Maddison Bennett, Juraea Turner, Asoiva Karpani, Tayler Savage, Meg Ward and Hanna Orr.
Note: A number players are unavailable to attend the camp, due to injury or prior work commitments. All players (attending and unable to attend) will be considered for top 40 contracts.