12 Country players named in NRL’s elite women’s representative squad

Updated: March 8, 2018

On International Women’s Day, the NRL has announced their inaugural 40 elite female rugby league players who will represent the game as marquee players in 2018.

In a strong reflection of the level of female talent coming from within Regional NSW, 12 country players were announced as part of the historic squad.

Each player will have the opportunity to participate in various matches and high-performance training camps, as well as undertaking various ambassador activities to promote the game throughout the season.

Players will also be under the guidance of full-time coaching, medical and high-performance staff throughout the year.

CRL Women’s Participation Officer Kylie Hilder, who was named in elite 40 herself, believes the announcement is yet another positive step for the development of women’s Rugby League and will ensure regional-based female players receive more opportunities.

“This top 40 is about getting girls prepared to play in a National competition, but the more competitions we run in Regional NSW means that in years to come more and more country girls will be playing in the National Championship.”

Hilder believes the large percentage of women selected from Regional NSW will inspire the next generation of talent within the game.

“A lot of these girls are still based in country areas like Kezie Apps and Sam Bremner, which shows that it doesn’t matter where you are, if you really want to strive to make these representative sides you can,” said Hilder.

“All the hard work that we’re  doing at CRL, ensuring we are creating direct pathways, is making it a lot easier for any girl, anywhere to end up in an elite division.”

Australian Jillaroos Representative Talesha Quinn, originally from Parkes, is thrilled about the new pathways opening up for Women in Rugby League.

“You can go all the way from grassroots to the NRL, which has never really happened,” said Quinn.

“This will bring out so many undiscovered talents and I can’t wait to see them shine.

“We are so lucky to have had all the past representative players paving the way for us to be here. So now it’s all our turn to keep inspiring and making our game bigger and better.”

During her teenage years in Parkes, Quinn only had the option of playing touch football because no women’s Rugby League or league tag competitions existed in the town.

“I love that there are so many country girls in the side. My heart will always be in the country,”

“There are so many talented girls out in Regional NSW, some that are currently playing in the first-ever female competition and others that would love to give it a shot.

“There are so many more opportunities for country kids which is amazing.”

The elite 40 players will head into camp in Sydney this weekend to begin preparations for the domestic and international season.


Country players named in 2018 Women’s Elite Representatives:

Kezie Apps

Sam Bremner

Vanessa Foliaki

Nakia Davis-Welsh

Jayme Fressard

Kylie Hilder

Rikeya Horne

Isabelle Kelly

Caitlin Moran

Talesha Quinn

Rebecca Young

Ruan Sims