The St.George Queensland Reds team has been announced for their Buildcorp Super W opener against the NSW Waratahs Women at Easts Rugby Union Club this Saturday, 19 June.
The squad features 12 returning players from previous Super W campaigns, seven starting debutants and another four potential debutants in the reserves.
The side will be led by scumhalf Cobie-Jane Morgan, with vice-captain Lucy Lockhart starting at openside flanker.
Super W stalwarts Bree-Anna Cheatham and Christina Sekona will start in the frontrow alongside hooker Tiarna Molloy, who will be making her Super W debut after impressing coaches with her club Rugby performances for Wests.
Bond University lock Aleena Greenhalgh will return for her second season with Queensland, and she will forming a starting combination with Easts lock Annabelle Codey. Codey, the daughter of former Queensland and Wallabies backrower David Codey, has been a part of the wider Queensland squad for the past two seasons, but will earn her first cap this weekend.
Lockhart will be joined in the backrow by her Canadian Bond University teammate Carola Kreis, and Easts young gun April Ngatupuna. Both will be making their debuts.
Morgan will form a halves combination with debutant Loretta Lealiifano, both starred for Easts in their Premiership run in 2020.
Bond University’s Diaz Seumanutafa will earn her first Super W cap at inside centre, partnering with Wallaroo Cecilia Smith at outside centre, who will make her return after overcoming a serious knee injury in 2020.
Luisa Sekona, the niece of Christina Sekona, will make her debut on the wing and will be joined by experienced campaigners Ivania Wong and Emily Bass.
In the reserves, frontrowers Maddie Shuck, Maletina Brown and Theresa Soloai are all in line for their potential debuts, while Lesa Kaleti Mataafa will provide lock cover.
Bond University AON University Sevens star Sophie Holyman is in line for her potential debut, while Asako Ono, Melanie Wilks and Kauna Lopa will provide cover for the backs.
Head coach Rama Chand said: “We’ve put together a squad for this match that has a mix of experienced players as well as some new talent.
“The players who come in have performed in club Rugby or in the AON University Sevens series and have earned their chance to impress.
“We have a hard task ahead of us this weekend coming up against an experienced NSW side, but the beauty of a new look team is that a lot of people haven’t seen some of our players before or our new combinations, so I’m excited to see what our young enthusiastic group can bring this weekend.
“Playing against the reigning champions in Round 1 will bode well for us when we’re away in Coffs Harbour, as this game will set the bench mark for all involved.
“It’s Ladies Day at Easts and there is club Rugby games on as well as Super W, so we’re excited for what should be a great day of Rugby at Tigerland.”
The Queensland Reds clash with NSW kicks off at 1:30pm AEST at Easts Rugby Union club, and will be followed by the Allsports Physiotherapy Hospital Challenge Cup Round 11 clash between Easts and Bond University.
Entry to the ground is FREE, and the matches will both be broadcast LIVE on Stan Sport.