AUSSIE PRIDE: Local rugby league players Chelsea Baker and Kody House will debut for Australia in February.
AUSSIE PRIDE: Local rugby league players Chelsea Baker and Kody House will debut for Australia in February. NICK KOSSATCH

Gladstone duo had to keep Aussie selection quiet

GLADSTONE'S rugby league star women players Kody House and Chelsea Baker's great Australian dream has been realised.

They have both received confirmation they will play for the Harvey Norman Australian Jillaroos in the Auckland Nines against New Zealand on February 6 and 7 at Eden Park.

An ecstatic House said they received the news on Tuesday, but were told not to tell media until confirmation several days later.

Kody House during the game against Brothers and she is one of the big improvers according to assistant coach Adrian Vowles.
Kody House during the game against Brothers and she is one of the big improvers according to assistant coach Adrian Vowles. Mike Knott

"We both made the 25-man squad and now are in the 16-man final team to play for the Australian Jillaroos," House said.

"I was at work and received a missed call from assistant coach Adrian Vowles, so I went outside to call him and told me the good news and I cried with joy," she said.

Their reward comes off a hectic two-day fitness and skill-based camp on the Gold Coast last month.

House said she was likely to play a different role to the one she was familiar with in Calliope Rooster colours.

"I play fullback or centre for the Roosters, but most likely to play second row for Australia," she said.

As for Baker, it was as if she had a premonition that something good was about to happen.

Raidettes' Chelsea Baker during the Raidettes versus Bundaberg match at Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone. Photo Luka Kauzlaric / The Observer
Raidettes' Chelsea Baker during the Raidettes versus Bundaberg match at Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone. Photo Luka Kauzlaric / The Observer Luka Kauzlaric

"Ironically I was filling out passwords at the time when I got the phone call," she said.

House and Baker join New South Wales pair Allana

Ferguson and Corban McGregor as debutants to a side coached by Steve Folks.

"The team selected will learn from each other and more importantly, will balance each other out," he said on the NRL.com website.

"They are a committed bunch of women and I have no doubt that they will fly the flag proudly for Australia against our old rivals."

AUSTRALIAN JILLAROOS TEAM FOR 2016 NINES

1 Allana Ferguson 2 Annette Brander 3 Brittany Breayley 4 Casey Karklis 5 Chelsea Baker 6 Corban McGregor7 Jenni-Sue Hoepper 8 Karina Brown 9 Kezie Apps 10 Kody House 11 Maddie Studdon 12 Renae Kunst 13 Ruan Sims 14 Sam Hammond 15 Steph Hancock (captain)16 Vanessa Foliaki

Coach: Steve Folks Assistant Coach: Adrian Vowles