Five Griffith Blacks have impressed selectors and have been picked in the Southern Inland Rugby Union representative squad to take on ACT side the Canberra Royals in Cootamundra this weekend.
Krystelle de Meyer, Lele Katoa, Stephanie Koro, Elenoa Latu and Sago Tufue all made the cut for the game.
Not only will the match be against a tough opponent, the players will also have to make the step from seven-a-side rugby to the 15-a-side game.
The side hasn’t had the best preparation with just one training under its belt but de Meyer said the Griffith players’ backgrounds would hold them in good stead against Canberra.
“Of the five girls, four of us have gone on to play at ACT level, so everyone is skilled in the sport,” de Meyer said.
“We’re all accustomed to the sevens game and going to the 15s, there’s going to be a lot less room so you have to follow your game plan very well.
“It’ll be played more strategically compared to a quick pace.
“We’ll have to be smarter and use our forwards to give our backs some space.”
The Canberra outfit has the upper hand in terms of playing the 15-a-side version of the game.
However, de Meyer said that wouldn’t stop the Southern Inland players giving it their all against the Royals.
“They play 15s in Canberra week in, week out – it’ll be a tough game with all of us coming from a sevens background in Southern Inland,” de Meyer said.
“We’ll compete and try our best, we’re staying optimistic heading in.”
de Meyer said the Griffith players were looking forward to the opportunity and wanted to use it to help grow the women’s game.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity, not just for myself and the other girls [to play] but to grow the sport and encourage all the girls coming through the rank,” she said.
The Griffith player was also looking forward to mixing it with some of Southern Inland’s best and getting to know the squad on a whole new level.
“Just getting to know other players,” de Meyer said when asked what she was looking to take away from the experience.
“You play against them and get to know them in that way but you see a different side when you’re playing with them on the same team.
“It’ll be great to make those bonds with all the players.”
The players have the backing of the Griffith club with president Dan McGreal chuffed to see so many Blacks in the representative side.
“It’s a big step for the girls and to make that side is a massive achievement,” McGreal said.