All Stars ideal Indigenous pathway for Young and youngsters

Playing for the Indigenous All Stars was the pathway to the elite women's game for Bec Young and now she's moving into the twilight of her career she hopes this match can do the same for the next generation.

A new era will kick off on February 15 when the showcase match at AAMI Park brings together Australia and New Zealand's first peoples.

The women's Indigenous All Stars and New Zealand Maori's top 30 squads were announced on Tuesday with several representative players named in both squads.

Young, who recently captained the Australian Prime Minister's XIII team, can only see bright times on the horizon.

"To be able to go out and represent the Indigenous All Stars team for another year and against the New Zealand Maori team for the first time ever would be a massive honour," Young said.

"I first got a look at by the Jillaroos and NSW through playing in the Koori Knockout and then playing in the first Indigenous All Stars match.

"So for me this game every year is one I hold close to my heart as it's helped shape me into the player and person I am - I hope it is also able to do that for our talented first nations people as well."

The Indigenous women's team celebrate their 2017 win.
The Indigenous women's team celebrate their 2017 win. ©NRL Photos

With 17 years of experience playing rugby league, Young said it's now important for her and the older women in the squad to provide guidance for the younger players.

"Having been in the game for a while now and being a part of the Indigenous All Star since the women's game got introduced in 2011, I feel a responsibility support and guide the younger girls," Young said.

"It's also important that us older girls are sharing our knowledge with the young ones and help them be the best person they can be on and off the field."

The Indigenous women defeated the All Stars team last year for the first time. Young said it would be tough chasing back-to-back victories against a formidable Maori outfit.

"To play every year and get beat by the All Stars girls team was really difficult because we all knew how much passion the girls played with and how much pride they all had in the jersey," Young said.

"To captain the team and come away with the win in my home town last year was a dream come true for me and an experience I hope to relive next year.

"It will be a tough challenge against the Maori team who look extremely strong - they're definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with."

2019 Harvey Norman NRL All Stars women's train-on squads

Indigenous All Stars

Akayla McQuire
Amber Pilley
Rebecca Young
Caitlan Johnston
Chloe Caldwell
Jenni-Sue Hoepper
Kandy Kennedy
Kazzia Lammon
Kyara Nean
Latoniya Norris
Lavina O’Mealey
Lavina Robinson
Layla Fauid
Majayda Darcy
Ngalika Barker
Quincy Dodd
Rebecca Ford
Regan Hart
Rhiannon Revell-Blair
Samartha Leisha
Sarah Field
Shakiah Tungai
Sharon McGrady
Shaylee Bent
Stephanie Mooka
Tahlia Hunter
Taleena Simon
Tallisha Harden
Terri-Ann Caine
Tommaya Kelly-Sines

New Zealand Maori Ferns

Amber Kani
Animei Skudder
Arneta Honey Hireme
Autumn-Rain Stephens
Awhina Marsh
Botille Vette-Walsh
Brittany Breayley
Crystal Stowers
Crystal Tamarua
Faith (Philly) Rapana
Geneva Webber
Harata (Charlette) Butler
Hilda Mariu
Jonsal Tautari
Kahurangi Peters
Karley Te Kawa
Kararaina Wira-Kohu
Kathy Keremete
Krystal Rota
Lisa Edwards-Rua
Raecene McGregor
Raquel Anderson-Pitman
Rona Peters
Tahina Heta
Tanika-Jazz Noble-Bell
Tazmin Gray
Te Aroha Hapuku
Tori Iosefo
Tyler Birch
Zahara Temara

 

Tickets are on sale for the All Stars matches, with adult tickets from $20 and family passes from $50. Tickets are available at nrl.com/tickets.