Jillaroos Welsh and Foliaki Excited For Opportunity to Represent Country

Updated: May 16, 2018

Australian Jillaroos Nakia Davis-Welsh and Vanessa Foliaki are hoping to inspire the next generation from Regional NSW when they represent Country at the inaugural National Women’s Championships in June.

Having grown up playing Rugby League in the park with her family, Davis-Welsh believes the next generation of female players are in prime position to take advantage of the new opportunities available in regional areas.

“I am actually excited to play for Country; it’s something new,” Davis-Welsh said.

“Hopefully we can inspire girls to keep playing Rugby League, but it will be easier than before because there are competitions going on in regional areas, so they don’t have to move away like I did.”

Foliaki, originally from Orange, believes the pathways CRL are creating for women, along with initiatives by the NRL, are making it simpler than ever for girls to succeed and achieve their Rugby League dreams.

“To be able to put on the Country jersey for the first time is going to be unreal,” said Foliaki.

“We’ve got pathways now and women can make it in the NRL and in the Australian side, so if you’re aspiring to make it on the big stage then you should definitely give it a go.

“I thought that we were a while away from an NRL competition so to have been able to win the World Cup and then the next year the NRL announce a women’s competition, it was unreal.”

Davis-Welsh and Foliaki will also be joined by Jillaroos teammates Isabelle Kelly, Kezie Apps, Bec Young, Ruan Sims and Sam Bremner in a strong Country side that will take on the Australian Defence Force and Queensland City in their pool matches in Southport.

“It’s been a while since we’ve all played together in the same team and I just can’t wait to get back out there and play with the Jillaroos girls again,” said Davis-Welsh.

The Women’s National Championships will be held at Owen Park, Southport between the 1-3 June and will be live streamed via the QRL website.