LISTEN: Final spots up for grabs for Capras women
RUGBY LEAGUE: CQ Capras women's assistant coach Danny Burns expects Gladstone players Rikarra Benjamin, Vassa Hunter, Kate Cunningham, Krystal Sulter and Zeah Lane to get valuable minutes in Saturday afternoon's historic trial match against Souths Logan Magpies in Rockhampton.
Benjamin, Lane and Cunningham play for the Gladstone Wallabys while Sulter and Hunter played in Tannum Seagals' winning 2019 grand final team.
Gladstone Wallaby Chelsea Baker will miss the match for the Capras because of NRLW Nines commitments in Perth for Brisbane Broncos.
Burns said the Gladstone five have had a great preparation.
"We had a weekend camp two weekends ago and really tested the ladies out on the field," he said.
"They were long sessions and seven odd hours of fieldworkwork and they've done quite well."
Burns said the quintet's level of fitness is elite which is what is required to play at this level.
The Capras women's side will be a part of the eight-team QRLW competition.
Burns said it now gives aspiring Central Queensland female players to aim to represent a CQ side rather than seek a high level team elsewhere.
"We been lucky with the QRL that has allowed the Capras entry into the QRLw," Burns said.
"For us it means long-term that we can keep a lot of our girls that are strong footballers in the CQ Region so that they don't have to go to Sydney or Brisbane like some of them have already."
Burns said the current Capras squad of 30 will be reduced before the start of the season proper on March 14 when Capras travel to Brisbane to take on Eastern Suburbs Tigers.
"Probably after this weekend or maybe after the next trial," Burns said about when the squad will be finalised.
He said the Capras' men, who take on the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday in the late match, have been accommodating and supportive toward their female counterparts.
"The Capras as an organisation have been really open-armed and really inviting to the women and to the team and try to give our best shot in the competition," Burns said.
The women's game is at 5pm followed by the men at 7pm.