The Jillaroos announce Rugby League World Cup squad as they attempt to defend their title

The Jillaroos have announced their 24-player squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup which begins in November.

The largely inexperienced team is comprised of 13 debutants, while five players from the 2017 World Cup-winning side have also been included.

The Jillaroos are hoping to retain the World Cup in England 

“The growth of the women’s game in Australia and across the sport has been clear in recent years, and will be highlighted at the Rugby League World Cup,” Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman, Peter V’landys, said.

Kezie Apps, Sammy Bremner, Ali Brigginshaw, Isabelle Kelly and Simaima Taufa are the only remaining players from the Jillaroos’ triumph five years ago, with Apps, Bremner and Brigginshaw appointed as co-captains of the team.

“We had to make some difficult decisions in selecting this team, but we have faith every player selected will do our country proud,” the coach Brad Donald said.

 “We have a strong squad with some greats of the game with plenty of experience as well as some exciting new faces who have been in impressive form this year.

 “We can’t wait to travel to England as we look to retain the World Cup trophy.”

The Jillaroos haven’t played a Test match in three years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic causing the international game to grind to a halt.

However, V’landys was confident the NRLW had held the women in good stead, heading into the tournament.

“The standard of the NRLW competition has been exceptional and I’m looking forward to seeing so much of the talent we have seen in Australia replicated on the international stage,” he said.

The Newcastle Knights completed a remarkable turnaround this season in the NRLW, going from picking up the wooden spoon to becoming premiers in 2022.

Four players from that side have been rewarded with call-ups to the international squad, which is headlined by Millie Boyle and Karyn Murphy Medal winner Tamika Upton.

The Jillaroos squad will go into camp after having a two week break and will then travel to the UK in late October, before commencing the tournament on November 2nd.  

They are set to play the Cook Islands, France and New Zealand in their opening round of fixtures.  

Australian Jillaroos World Cup squad (in alphabetical order):  

Tarryn Aiken* (Brisbane Broncos)

Kezie Apps (St George-Illawarra Dragons)

Millie Boyle (Newcastle Knights)

Samantha Bremner (Sydney Roosters)

Ali Brigginshaw (Brisbane Broncos)

Lauren Brown* (Gold Coast Titans)

Jaime Chapman* (Brisbane Broncos)

Kennedy Cherrington* (Parramatta Eels)

Shenae Ciesiolka* (Brisbane Broncos)

Yasmin Clydsdale* (Newcastle Knights)

Keeley Davis (St George-Illawarra Dragons)

Taliah Fuimaono* (St George-Illawarra Dragons)

Tallisha Harden (Brisbane Broncos)

Caitlan Johnston* (Newcastle Knights)

Keilee Joseph* (Sydney Roosters)

Isabelle Kelly (Sydney Roosters)

Olivia Kernick* (Sydney Roosters)

Shannon Mato* (Gold Coast Titans)

Evania Pelite* (Gold Coast Titans)

Julia Robinson (Brisbane Broncos)

Jessica Sergis (Sydney Roosters)

Simaima Taufa (Parramatta Eels)

Tamika Upton* (Newcastle Knights)

Holli Wheeler (St George Illawarra Dragons)

* Jillaroos debutant

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