Reds confirm women's Academy squad ahead of 2022 Super W

Wed, 20/10/2021, 05:41 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
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The Queensland Reds have confirmed a historic women's Academy squad as they hunt for their first Super W title.

It is a first for the women’s 15-a-side game in Queensland, having experienced success across the Sevens and men's programs.

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There are 26 players who have played for the Reds across the 46-women squad, with a further five with Super W experience.

Sevens captain Shannon Parry headlines the inclusions, returning to Queensland after her stint at the Olympics.

“It’s great to be back on the park and in the gym with the team,” Reds coach Rama Chand said.

“We have a really good group with a lot of new faces who are all competing for spots in the Super W side for next year.

“The chance to build depth is what we’re excited about and by starting early we can also focus on a few gaps in our performance. We have a lot of new players mixing in with the returning girls as well as experience coming from elsewhere.

“The girls involved we think have the capability to play Super W or higher, for us as coaches it’s about building depth and developing a program where we have lots of players ready to step up to the next level when opportunities present.

“The women’s game at club level is growing, the quality of Rugby has improved as well as participation. There is a lot of depth building in club Rugby and hopefully we can nurture that and create more Reds and Wallaroos.

“Our role is to compete and win Super W, but we also need to produce Wallaroos and with the Rugby World Cup just around the corner, the players have an opportunity to put their hands up for selection.”

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Queensland Rugby’s High Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby Reg Tayler believes the move will be crucial for the squad taking the next step and providing crucial pathways for athletes.

“The Academy program that we’ve run with the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) in Women’s Sevens has produced a number of athletes that have gone on to represent Australia, including our most recent graduate Madison Levi who competed at the Tokyo Olympics,” Tayler added.

“In the men’s space, Academy products such as Harry Wilson, Josh Flook and Kalani Thomas have forced their way into the Reds side and have impressed at Super Rugby level.

“We’re hoping to create a similar program in the Women’s XV space, where we can identify and begin working with players early in their careers and help prepare them to be professional athletes.”

REDS ACADEMY SQUAD

FORWARDS

Alapeta Ngauamo* - GPS

Aleena Greenhalgh – Bond University

Annabelle Codey - Wests

April Ngatupuna - Easts

Bree-anna Cheatham - Wests

Carola Kreis - Bond University

Christina Sekona** - Sunnybank

Ema Masi - University of Queensland

Emilya Byrne* – University of Queensland

Grace Qaranivalu - Bond University

Haidee Head* - Easts

Hana Lane - Wests

Hilisha Samoa** - GPS

Kiri Lingman** - Easts

Laina Cooper-Finau - Easts

Lesa Kaleti Mataafa - Sunnybank

Liz Patu** - Wests

Madison Schuck - Bond University

Melehifo Sikimeti* – Norths

Okeroa Manihera - Sunnybank

Shannon Parry** - Easts

Sophie Holyman - Bond University

Taulaga Malaitai* - Easts

Theresa Soloai - Easts

Tiarna Molloy - Wests

Tina Brown - Easts

Tina Campbell* - GPS

Vuanimasei Rasolea - GPS

BACKS

Athena Vili* - Easts

Caitlyn Costello* - Bond University

Cecilia Smith** - Easts

Cobie-Jane Morgan** - Easts

Destiny Brill - Easts

Georgia Hannaway* - Wests

Giverny Robinson* - University of Queensland

Imogen Mcleod* - Noosa/Queensland Country

Ivania Wong - Sunnybank

Lillian Kolb* – University of Queensland

Loretta Lealiifano - Easts

Luisa Sekona - Sunnybank

Malaela Su'a* - Easts

Melanie Wilks - Bond University

Natalie Wright – University of Queensland

Nicola Emsley – ADF/Caloundra

Renae Nona - Sunnybank

Sarah Lewis* - GPS

Tyesha Mikaio* - Easts

Vani Va'aga* - Sunnybank

*Denotes uncapped player

**Denotes capped Wallaroo

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