The North Queensland Toyota Gold Stars will make their debut in the new QRLW competition with a roster full of homegrown talent led by Indigenous All Stars Jenni-Sue Hoepper, Steph Mooka, Shaniah Power and Layla Fauid.
The top 25 squad, which boasts 10 women from both Townsville and Mackay and a further five from Cairns, will play their first trial match this Saturday against the Central Queensland Capras in Rockhampton.
The inaugural Women’s Dally M winner and former Jillaroos and PNG Orchids representative Jenni-Sue Hoepper recently played halfback for the victorious Indigenous All Stars side.
The 25-year-old attended the elite-level Queensland Female Performance Program in January alongside fellow 2019 Women’s State of Origin player Steph Mooka.
Mooka was contracted with the St George Illawarra Dragons’ NRLW team last year and will bring lots of experience to the outside backs.
Bowen product Shaniah Power played with the Queensland Country squad that competed at the 2019 Women’s National Championships and recently debuted for the Indigenous All Stars, joining teammate Layla Fauid on the interchange.
Fauid is a rising talent from Moranbah and played representative football with Power, Romy Teitzel and Toto Te Hiko at the 2019 Women’s National Championships, after the trio were selected from the Northern Marlins.
Townsville’s Emma Wood and Courtney Reynolds, and Cairns product Kaiyla Ward are currently in the 2020 Queensland Under 18s Origin Pathways Program, while Jasmine Peters and Emma Manzelman from Mackay played U18s Origin in 2019.
The Gold Stars’ three satellite squads in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay offers plenty of talent to take a spot during the season while continuing to develop players.
Facilitated by the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, the Gold Stars is a collaborative effort between the club’s three feeder teams, the Northern Pride, Townsville Blackhawks and Mackay Cutters.
The Gold Stars play their first game for points on Saturday, March 14 against Brothers Ipswich at 3pm.
Gold Stars top 25 squad
Riutoto Te Hiko