Queensland Rugby Union has today confirmed the 30-woman Queensland Reds squad who will compete in the 2022 Buildcorp Super W season.
The squad features 15 players who are previously capped for Queensland in the Super W competition, as well as five capped Wallaroos, including former Australian Sevens co-captain Shannon Parry, who has returned to Queensland after retiring from international Sevens duties.
The squad has also been bolstered by a number of players who have relocated to Queensland who’ve formerly played for other Super W teams. Frontrowers Evelyn Horomia and Tazmin Shepard, who have won the competition previously with NSW, will provide depth in the forward pack, while in the backs former Melbourne Rebel Nicola Emsley has been selected in the centres.
Emsley, based on the Sunshine Coast, is one of a number of regional players who have been involved in the program, including wider squad member and University of Southern Queensland product Briana Dascombe, who was identified through the Queensland Country representative pathway in 2021.
A number of experienced Queensland campaigners were ruled out of selection due to injury including Christina Sekona and Bree-Anna Cheatham, while the 2021 Super W player of the season – Lucy Lockhart – isn’t available due to pregnancy. All three are training hard to target a return to play ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand.
Head coach Rama Chand also has an eye on the future, with four players named under the aged of 18. Halves duo Skyla Adams and Imogen Hei, as well as centre Maleala Su’a, are all aged 16, while wider squad member Melehifo Sikimeti is 17.
“It’s a good group we’ve put together, we’ve been training for a long time with the introduction of the academy program at the back end of 2021, so it’s great to lock down our final squad as we edge closer to the competition and begin playing some Rugby,” said Chand.
The Reds Academy program saw the Super W program preparation begin in October 2021, with approximately 50 players training at Ballymore each week from which the final squad was selected from.
“I think having the Academy program, it allowed us to have more time with the players and focus on some areas we were looking to improve on heading into 2022. It allowed us to work with a lot of players who performed during the club Rugby season last year as well.
“We’ve been able to develop some depth and with some of the experienced players we have had miss out due to injury, that is crucial for us this year.
“We also have some experienced individuals coming back into the squad, including Shannon Parry, and she has some unfinished business in the XVs space. She has had a big impact already and is leading the way.
“Part of the depth we’ve built is identifying junior talent, we have some young players under the age of 18, but we think they have the ability to play for the Reds long term and we’re looking forward to seeing their ongoing development.
“With the popularity of the sport growing, our team are keen to get in front of the community and inspire the next generation. We have some double headers lined up for the season which will see the women play on the big stage at Suncorp Stadium and we hope we can attract some solid support for those matches.”
The Super W draw for 2022 is yet to be finalised due to COVID related border issues, but the Queensland Reds women will have their first hit out next Saturday in a trial match against the newly introduced Fijiana team at Ballymore. More details to follow.
2021 Queensland Reds Squad:
- Peta Ngauamo* – GPS
- Laina Cooper-Finau – Easts
- Liz Patu – Wests
- Madi Shuck – Bond University
- Tiarna Molloy - Wests
- Evelyn Horomia** - Easts
- Tazmin Sheppard** – Bond University
- Grace Qaranivalu** – Bond University
- Aleena Greenhalgh – Wests
- Annabelle Codey - Wests
- Tina Campbell* - GPS
- Kiri Lingman - Sunnybank
- Carola Kreis – Bond University
- Shannon Parry* - Easts
- Hana Lane** - Wests
- Okeroa Manihera – Sunnybank
- Sophie Holyman – Bond University
- Sarah Lewis* – GPS
- Imogen Hei* - Bond University
- Skyla Adams* - Bond University
- Sarah Riordan – ADF/Wests
- Cecilia Smith - Easts
- Malaela Su’a*- Easts
- Melanie Wilks – Bond University
- Nicola Emsley** – ADF/Wests
- Ivania Wong – Sunnybank
- Natalie Wright – University of Queensland
- Caity Costello* – Bond University
- Ellie Draper* – Souths
- Renae Nona** – Sunnybank
- Chloe Cocks* – University of Queensland
- Briana Dascombe* – Wests/University of Southern Queensland Saints
- Giverny Robinson* – University of Queensland
- Melehifo Sikimeti* - Wests
- Emilya Byrne* - GPS
- Ema Masi** – University of Queensland
- Asipau Mafi* - North Lakes
- Theresa Soloai - Easts
*Denotes uncapped Super W player **Denotes player uncapped for Queensland in Super W