Having shone in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Under 18s Origin team this year, Yanco-Wamoon’s Tess Staines is now pulling on her international footy boots.
The only team member chosen from west of the Blue Mountains, Tess has been selected to represent Australia in the Prime Minister’s Women’s Rugby League squad to play against Fiji this Friday at the ANZ National Stadium in Suva.
In a recent interview Staines described her high-lights over the past two years of playing as just “bang, bang, bang”. Without time to get her head around one achievement, it seemed the next one had already arrived.
Whilst her father Bruce Staines and the entire family are excited, excitement is not limited to just the Staines family home.
“We are all over the moon with her effort to date, but Leeton is more than buzzing, what’s happened in the past 12 months has been absolutely unbelievable,” he said. “Tess could not have imagined that this would have happened 14 months ago, it would be true to say that her hard work and natural skill has got her to this stage.”
Asked what he thinks Tess has gained out of her chosen sport, Staines suggests her sense of fairness and her communication skills, Tess has remained calm and mild.
“Playing for state then country it’s a different stepping stone each time, however her feet have never left the ground, no matter the achievement.
“What Tess has achieved has been absolutely out-standing to date. The world is her oyster, her future depends on a lot of things skill, luck, injury, the world is at her feet and I hope she can make the most of these opportunities.”
Bruce and his wife Kathy will be there for the big match and they are expecting a big effort from their daughter.
“Tess will bring the best to the game against Fiji she possibly can; I can assure you she won’t leave anything on the ground.”
Women’s Coach Brad Donald describes the up-coming clash as an incredible opportunity and fully expects the players on and off the field, to empower both women and their communities throughout the Pacific.
“We had 13 players from last year’s PM’s XIII women’s squad play in the NRLW this year, which shows the elite pathway is truly working,” Donald said.
The Australian women’s team will be captained by Sydney Roosters and Queens-land representative Karina Brown.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this year’s XIII squads focused on youth and experience.
“I wanted to bring together veterans who have served the game well over a number of years, with the brightest young talents that have come onto the rugby league scene,” Mr Morrison said. “Mal (Meninga), Brad and I are confident that we’ve come up with two really strong and well balanced teams and I’m looking forward to seeing them in action in Fiji.”
According to the NRL it was expected that both teams (men’s and women’s) would be travelling to Brisbane on October 7 before departing to Fiji yesterday (Tuesday).