The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has today announced the 28-woman St.George Queensland Reds squad ahead of the 2021 Buildcorp Super W season.
The squad includes 14 returning players from previous Super W campaigns, and four capped Wallaroos in Liz Patu, Christina Sekona, Cecilia Smith and Cobie-Jane Morgan.
With a host of new faces coming into the squad, players who’ve performed in Queensland Premier Rugby and AON University Sevens have been rewarded with selection.
“We’ve put together a really strong squad for the season with a mix of seasoned veterans and some exciting new talent,” said head coach Rama Chand.
“The wider squad has been working hard in the gym and on the field over the last few months, and we’ve held two internal trials and have closely monitored club Rugby to come up with the final list.
“There is a host of players who have been rewarded with selection from some of the community game’s top performing clubs, with Easts having gone through the 2020 season undefeated and Bond University having played finals in the 2020 Premier Rugby comp and then having won the AON University Sevens series just a few weeks ago.
“It’s a slightly different format this year with only one game here in Brisbane before we go to Coffs Harbour, and we’re really at the business end of our preparation now for what is going to be a tough few weeks of Rugby for the team.”
As well as the playing group, the 2021 coaching staff have also been confirmed, with Chand set to be joined by assistant coaches Anthony Mathison and Manuel Cole-Manolis, while former Wallaby lock Mark Chisholm has been named as the strength & conditioning coach.
Mathison, a stalwart of the Queensland Premier Rugby competition, has previously been involved in Premier Grade coaching at Brothers, GPS and University of Queensland, whilst also coaching in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) with both Queensland Country and Brisbane City.
Cole-Manolis has significant experience coaching across both Sevens and XVs, having been involved with University of Queensland AON Uni Sevens, Iconz Rugby and Brothers Rugby Club, whilst also having coached the Brisbane Junior Rugby Union (BJRU) girls XVs sides.
Chisholm, who played 102 games for the Brumbies and 58 Tests for Australia, joins the Super W coaching set up for the first time in 2021, building upon his current strength and conditioning role with St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace.
“I’m excited to see where the girls can get to, from where they started and with the enthusiasm and competitiveness they’ve brought to training, it can only be great for women’s Rugby in Queensland,” said Chisholm.
“In my area, I’m not only coaching but mentoring the players in what it takes to be a professional, and the sacrifices it takes to get where you want to as a player.”
The Queensland Super W campaign kicks off on Saturday, 19 June, as Easts Rugby Club plays host to the interstate derby between Queensland and NSW. The team will then head South to Coffs Harbour and will face Melbourne and the President’s XV at C.ex Coffs International Stadium. All 2021 Super W matches will be broadcast LIVE on Stan Sport.