Some of the best female talent in country rugby league will take their first step towards possible selection in the Country team, and perhaps NSW State of Origin and Jillaroos jerseys, when the CRL Northern Country selection trials take place in Muswellbrook on Saturday.
Over 120 players from Group 4, Group 19, Group 21, the Central Coast, Newcastle, the Hastings League and Western Region will take the field.
From the event, the Northern side will be selected to take on Southern on April 14, with the Country side named from that match.
Country plays City at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium as the curtain-raiser to the round 11 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canberra Raiders.
The women will vie for selection in the Blues’ Origin side.
The Country side will also compete in the new National Championships in June, for selection in the Australian Jillaroos squad.
CRL female participation officer Kylie Hilder said that Muswellbrook tournament was a great opportunity for players to take the next step along the representative pathway.
“This weekend could be the first step for some of these girls towards representing not only Country but also New South Wales or the Jillaroos,” she said.
“The new national structure, along with initiatives like the CRL Women’s Nines, has created a clearly defined pathway from regional grassroots to the Jillaroos. And it’s a really exciting time for female participants in our game.”
CRL Northern Country selection trials
10am – Group 21 v Central Coast-Newcastle
11am – Group 4 v Hastings
12pm – Central Coast-Newcastle v Western
1pm – Group 4 v Group 19
2pm – Group 21 v Western
3pm – Hastings v Group 19