Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has today confirmed their 30-woman St.George Queensland Reds squad for the 2020 Buildcorp Super W season.
A total of 21 players who have previously represented Queensland in the Super W competition are returning for this year’s campaign, alongside nine new players.
Amongst the new players, 35-year-old mother and prop Hilisha Samoa will make her return to Rugby, having not played since the 2017 Rugby World Cup where her efforts saw her named the Australian Women’s XV Player of the Year.
Having taken time off from Rugby to welcome her fifth child into the world, 2020 will see her bolster Queensland’s frontrow stocks.
With dual international Millie Boyle unavailable for selection due to a back injury, head coach Moana Virture has looked to bolster her lock and backrow stocks, with four players in-line for their potential debuts.
Canadian international Gabby Senft, who has represented Bond University in the AON Uni 7s and was part of last year’s wider squad, has been elevated to the main group as well as Natassja Purontakanen, who missed out on last year’s campaign due to a knee-injury.
Former captain Kirby Sefo, who led the side in 2018, will also return to bolster the backrow, while Sunnybank duo Lesa Mataafa and Okeroa Manihera are set for their first Super W experience.
Having played in the seven jersey in the 2018 Super W grand final, former flyhalf Lavinia Gould will also shift into the backrow for the 2020 campaign.
At halfback, 17-year-old Destiny Brill, who stared for Queensland at the 2019 National Youth Sevens, has been named alongside the experienced Cobie-Jane Morgan and Ayane Hirata.
Jillaroo Zahara Temara, who played for Queensland in the inaugural Super W campaign, returns to the squad having spent time playing for the Sydney Roosters in the NRL W competition. Newcomer Hasting Leiataua, who has represented Auckland in New Zealand provincial Rugby as well as playing in Japan, has made the move to Brisbane ahead of the Super W season. Both Temara and Leiataua will cover flyhalf.
In the centres, having missed the 2019 Super W season through injury, Sarah Riordan returns for 2020 alongside one of Queensland’s newest Wallaroo debutants and Australian Sevens squad member Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea. The duo will be joined by Far North Queensland product Hagiga Mosby, who has previously represented Australia at the past two Oceania Sevens events in 2018 and 2019.
In the outside backs, former Rugby WA Women Courtney Hodder will join the established Lori Cramer, Samantha Treherne, Alana Elisaia and Ivania Wong. Hodder was one of the standouts of the inaugural Super W competition but missed the opportunity to play last year through injury. However, the young winger made the move to Queensland where she has trained as part of the Queensland Academy of Sport Women’s Sevens program, whilst juggling work commitments for the Brisbane Junior Rugby Union (BJRU).
Returning head coach Moana Virtue said: “We have a new look squad heading into the 2020 campaign, with lots of new faces.
“We’re lucky to have the majority of our squad returning from either the 2019 or 2018 campaigns, while some of the recruits have come to us with previous representative experience.
“We’ve been working as a large squad of approximately 50 players since November, and it’s been hard to narrow down numbers to our final list, but I’m confident we’ve put together a solid group that will be competitive throughout the competition.
“The interest in the competition continues to build year-on-year, with a large contingent of players from clubland trialling for the squad.
“Each year we continue to unearth new talent and I’m excited to see what our players can achieve both collectively and individually this coming season.
“So far within the Super W competition we’ve made the grand final and pushed NSW on both occasions, but we want to bring the Super W trophy to Queensland for the first time and our squad will be focused on that goal in 2020.”
As well as the squad of 30 players, a further group of seven players have been named in the wider training squad.
The Reds begin their 2020 Super W campaign in Round 2 of the competition, having a bye in Round 1, where they will face the Rugby WA Women in Perth on 22 February, kick-off at 6:00pm AEST.
St.George Queensland Reds squad for the 2020 Super W season:
Bree-anna Cheatham - Wests
Christina Sekona** - Sunnybank
Hilisha Samoa*** - Brothers
Liz Patu** - Wests
Toa Filimoehala - Easts
Averyl Mitchell** - Souths
Ivy Kaleta** - Sunnybank
Alisha Hewett** - GPS/Australian Defence Force
Kiri Lingman** - Easts
Lesa Mataafa* - Sunnybank
Saxon Campbell - Souths
Gabrielle Senft* - Wests
Kirby Sefo** – Bond University
Lavinia Gould - Wests
Natassja Purontakanen* – University of Queensland
Okeroa Manihera* - Sunnybank
Shannon Mato** - Easts
Ayane Hirata - Sunnybank
Cobie-Jane Morgan** - Sunnybank
Destiny Brill* - Sunnybank
Zahara Temara - Helensvale Hogs
Hasting Leiataua* - Wests
Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea** - Sunnybank
Hagiga Mosby* – University of Queensland
Sarah Riordan** - Wests/Australian Defence Force
Alana Elisaia** – Brothers
Courtney Hodder* - Sunnybank
Ivania Wong - Sunnybank
Lori Cramer** – University of Queensland
Samantha Treherne** – Sunnybank
Maraea Tupai* – Wests
*Denotes uncapped Queensland Super W player
Emily Bass – Bond
Melanie Wilks* – Bond University
Aleena Greenhalgh* – Wests
Asako Ono – University of Queensland
Teresa Noble* – Sunnybank
Wynona Baice – Wests
**Denotes capped Wallaroo