Rugby league: Group 19 primed for CRL Northern Country selection trials in Muswellbrook

TRAILBLAZERS: Shamarla Duncan, Tileah McGrady, coach Lorilie Haines, Jessica Karcoe, Tara Newman and Bianca Wells are helping further women's league.
TRAILBLAZERS: Shamarla Duncan, Tileah McGrady, coach Lorilie Haines, Jessica Karcoe, Tara Newman and Bianca Wells are helping further women's league.

Moree will be well represented at the CRL Northern Country women’s rugby league selection trials in Muswellbrook on Saturday.

Nine players from Moree’s women’s nines team have been selected for the Group 19 representative side which will play against other rep teams from all over Northern NSW including Group 4.

The Moree girls – Tileah McGrady, Shamarla Duncan, Tara Newman, Bianca Wells, Jessica Karcoe, Lawanna Brown, Shai-Lee Smith, Carly Walton and Shirley-May Swan – will make up half of the Group 19 side, which also includes players from Warialda, the Armidale Rams and Narwan.

Moree coach Lorilie Haines was chosen as the Group 19 coach, while Moree’s Antoinette McNamara is the team’s manager.

On Saturday, the Group 19 team will play Group 4 and Hastings, while Group 21, Central Coast and Newcastle will play each other.

A Northern Country side will be chosen. It will play Southern Country on April 12 for the opportunity to be selected for the 2018 Country side.

Haines said it’s a fantastic opportunity for the Moree players.

“It’s the first time they’ve been provided the opportunity to further themselves. It’s a foot forward for women in league,” she said.

“There is a large majority of indigenous girls in our team. All the Moree girls are indigenous. They have now become role models for younger girls. It’s showing them there’s something else out there.”

Haines is confident the Group 19 will do well, especially because half the team are already familiar with playing together.

“I think they’ve got a good chance of beating the two sides we’re up against,” she said.

“They’re going to be tight games but we’ve got the skill and talent to come out on top. It’s a matter of whether they gel together, which I think they will as Moree girls are in some of the key positions. That’s a bonus.”

The team have had two training sessions together and will have another one prior to their matches at Muswellbrook’s Olympic Park.