The Australian Rugby League Commission has confirmed Dragons duo Emma Tonegato and Shaylee Bent will join the Harvey Norman Jillaroos squad for the Rugby League World Cup, following the withdrawal of Newcastle's Millie Boyle and Tamika Upton.
The Knights announced on Tuesday that Upton had withdrawn due to a calf injury, while Boyle couldn't commit to travelling due to work commitments.
The 22-strong squad, which was originally named on Monday, includes five players from the 2017 World Cup-winning squad – Kezie Apps, Sammy Bremner, Ali Brigginshaw, Isabelle Kelly and Simaima Taufa.
The Commission has also appointed Apps, Bremner and Brigginshaw as co-captains.
The World Cup will be the first time the Jillaroos have played a Test Match since October 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taufa's captain's knock
Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman, Mr Peter V’landys AM congratulated the players on worthy selection into the squad.
“The growth of the women’s game in Australia and across the sport has been clear in recent years, and will be highlighted at the Rugby League World Cup,” Mr V’landys said.
“The standard of the NRLW competition has been exceptional and I’m looking forward to seeing so much of the talent we have seen in Australia replicated on the international stage.”
Coach Brad Donald said it was tough process to come up with the final squad, but he is looking forward to the World Cup kicking off in four weeks’ time.
“We had to make some difficult decisions in selecting this team but we have faith every player selected will do our country proud," Donald said.
We have a strong squad with some greats of the game with plenty of experience as well as some exciting new faces who have been in impressive form this year.Jillaroos coach Brad Donald
“We can’t wait to travel to England as we look to retain the World Cup trophy.”
The Jillaroos squad will head into camp in two weeks’ time before heading to the UK in late October. The Women’s Rugby League World Cup kicks off on November 2, with the Jillaroos playing the Cook Islands, France and New Zealand in their round games at LNER Community Stadium in York.
Australia Jillaroos squad
- Tarryn Aiken* (Brisbane Broncos)
- Kezie Apps, co-captain (St George-Illawarra Dragons)
- Shaylee Bent* (St George-Illawarra Dragons)
- Samantha Bremner, co-captain (Sydney Roosters)
- Ali Brigginshaw, co-captain (Brisbane Broncos)
- Lauren Brown* (Gold Coast Titans)
- Jaime Chapman* (Brisbane Broncos)
- Kennedy Cherrington* (Parramatta Eels)
- Shenae Ciesiolka* (Brisbane Broncos)
- Yasmin Clydsdale* (Newcastle Knights)
- Keeley Davis (St George-Illawarra Dragons)
- Taliah Fuimaono* (St George-Illawarra Dragons)
- Tallisha Harden (Brisbane Broncos)
- Caitlan Johnston* (Newcastle Knights)
- Keilee Joseph* (Sydney Roosters)
- Isabelle Kelly (Sydney Roosters)
- Olivia Kernick* (Sydney Roosters)
- Shannon Mato* (Gold Coast Titans)
- Evania Pelite* (Gold Coast Titans)
- Julia Robinson (Brisbane Broncos)
- Jessica Sergis (Sydney Roosters)
- Simaima Taufa (Parramatta Eels)
- Emma Tonegato (St George Illawarra Dragons)
- Holli Wheeler (St George Illawarra Dragons)
* denotes Jillaroos debutant.