CQ Capras women to play in new statewide comp
RUGBY LEAGUE: Tamika Upton wants to be part of the CQ Capras team to contest the new QRLW in 2020.
The club has received confirmation theirs will be among the eight teams taking part in next season’s historic state-wide women’s competition.
The QRLW will kick off at the same time as the Intrust Super Cup and will be played over seven rounds with two weeks of finals.
Capras CEO Peter White today said it was “really exciting news”.
“The onus on us now is to get a team together, get a team of coaching staff together and obviously get the necessary finances together,” he said.
“We did a fair bit of groundwork initially to talk to people like Chelsea (Baker) and Tamika (Upton) and the enthusiasm is there.
“I know the girls will be very excited to wear the Capras jersey from here, to be able pursue their dreams, follow the pathway and still remain here in CQ.”
Upton, who was part of the Brisbane Broncos NRLW premiership-winning team, said the QRLW presented a fantastic opportunity for regional-based female talent.
“The pathways are just getting better and better,” she said.
“I’m definitely going to put my hand up for it.
“It would be exciting to be involved, and especially to play games at home in front of family and friends.”
The eight QRLW teams were approved after a rigorous application process.
Six were part of the south-east Queensland Division 1 competition this season, while the Capras and the North Queensland Gold Stars are new entries.
White said player trials would be held in the New Year, with a trial game against Mackay pencilled in for February 29.
He said expressions of interest in the coaching and training positions had garnered strong local interest.
“We’ve got eight to 10 applicants there across the coaching, FAO, strength and conditioning and managerial side of it,” he said.
“There’s a fair bit of experience there, we just have to make sure we pick the right team to represent us.”
The Capras will likely have three games in CQ, with the women’s games played as curtain-raisers to ISC fixtures.
White said the introduction of the QRLW meant regional female talent now had the same pathways as their male counterparts.
“It’s similar to our boys now, they don’t have to go anywhere,” he said.
“They’re going to be seen, every game is videoed, every game is uploaded, everyone has access to it across the QRL and the NRL.”
The grand final will be played on Sunday, May 17, before the women’s State of Origin, giving players an opportunity to press their case for state selection.