Kezie Apps to play for Country spot

Country hopeful: Bega export Kezie Apps will be surrounded by Jillaroos team-mates as she strives for a Country spot during CRL Southern v Northern trials. Picture: NRL Photos

Country hopeful: Bega export Kezie Apps will be surrounded by Jillaroos team-mates as she strives for a Country spot during CRL Southern v Northern trials. Picture: NRL Photos

Adam Bezzina has named his CRL Southern women’s side, following the weekend’s trial matches at Yass, to take on the CRL Northern side.

Bezzina’s squad, which includes a number of Jillaroos including Gerringong’s Ruan Sims, will play on Saturday, April 14 – with the NSW Country side to be selected from this game.

This Country side, to be coached by Matt Parrish, will then battle City in Mudgee on May 20.

“Myself and the selection panel were extensive in our selection process and we are excited with the squad we have selected to represent the Southern region,” Bezzina said.

“There were a number of exciting prospects who put their hands up in Yass and when you combine that with the Jillaroos who have come back into the squad – it’s a very strong squad.

“The balance of experience and youth, including two former Steelers Tarsha Gale girls Maddison Perceval and Mikayla Malaki, is great and it shows how important that under 18s competition is as a pathway to higher honours.

“It’s a very exciting time to be involved in women’s rugby league – from the announcement of the women’s NRL this week to the national championship to be played at the Gold Coast from June 1-3 – it all points to a very bright future for the game moving forward.”

Country Rugby League CEO Terry Quinn believes the high level of talent selected for the trial is testament to the strength of the game in regional NSW.

“It’s a fantastic time for women’s rugby league and having nine current Jillaroos trialling for Country representative jerseys is a strong indication of the talent coming from regional NSW,” Quinn said.

“It’s also been great to see how many girls are waiting in the wings for their opportunity to progress along the pathway and some of those players will get their opportunity in the Northern and Southern trial.”

The CRL Northern and Southern women’s trial will be played alongside CRL’s junior representative Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cup finals on April 14.

CRL Southern side: Ella Harris, Emma Hickey, Gab Suckling, Georgie Brooker, Grace Mooney, Haylee Lepaio, Jamie Ann-Wright, Kezie Apps, Maddison Perceval, Mikayla Malaki, Lauretta Leao-Seve, Rebecca Ford, Ruan Sims, Rikeya Horne, Sally Dwyer, Samantha Bremner, Shakiah Tungai, Shannon Pike, Talesha Quinn and Vanessa Foliaki – with Adam Bezzina as coach.

CRL Northern side: Alicia Martin, Amy Broadhead, Bec Young, Caitlin Moran, Emma Gillogoly, Emma Young, Eunice Grimes, Georgia Smyth, Holli Wheeler, Isabelle Kelly, Jayme Fressard, Jerry Burgmann, Kyara Nean, Kylie Hilder, Nakia Davis-Welsh, Ngalika Barker, Sharon McGrady, Skye Lovett, Tayla Predebon and Taylah Gray – with Mick Young at coach.