THE Jillaroos, which is captained by Gerringong’s Ruan Sims, will join the Prime Minister’s XIII for the very first time in Papua New Guinea in September to play their first ever match at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
The Jillaroos will take on the PNG national women’s side in the penultimate match of an exciting triple-header on Saturday, September 23 that will open with an under 16s match between the NSW Rugby League young achiever’s and a PNG select side, before culminating with the annual PNG Kumuls and Prime Minister’s XIII clash.
A squad of 24 women will be selected on Monday, September 11, before assembling on the Gold Coast for a training camp the following Sunday.
Jillaroos Coach Brad Donald is looking forward to seeing his side take the field to create history in what is a genuine selection trial for the upcoming Women’s Rugby League World Cup in November.
“This is another fantastic step forward for the growth of the game and the exciting opportunities that our women’s rugby league pathway program provides,” Donald said.
“It’ll undoubtedly be a memorable experience.
“Very few athletes ever get to represent their nation overseas, let alone in such a passionate rugby league-loving nation like Papua New Guinea - so I’ll be watching closely to see how everyone handles the occasion.”
Several NSW based Jillaroos representatives are likely to be excluded from national duties to participate in the NSWRL’s Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership final series in Sydney on the same weekend.
However, Donald confirmed it will not affect their selection in the final squad for the World Cup later in the year.
“While the timing is unfortunate, selection for the final World Cup squad will be due to a player’s overall performances for their club, state and national teams, and not just those selected to play in PNG,” he said.
The Jillaroos and Prime Minister’s XIII squads will also be involved in a series of events, community visits and coaching clinics while on the ground in Papua New Guinea and are supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).