The shortlist for the International Rugby League (IRL) Golden Boot Award has been announced, with a host of hard-runners listed for the top prizes.…
Jillaroos coach Brad Donald says he’s prepared to throw Tamika Upton in at the deep end and hand the all-conquering Newcastle fullback her first Test start in the No.1 jersey.
Upton last week claimed the Dally M and Karyn Murphy medals en route to a second-straight title with the Knights.
The 26-year-old is one of three Newcastle players named in Donald’s squad for the Tests against the Kiwi Ferns in Townsville on October 14 and Melbourne on October 28.
“She has been the form fullback and she’ll be wearing the No.1,” Donald said in Sydney on Tuesday.
“There’s a couple of fullbacks in there but she has had an outstanding year. She’s a special player.”
North Queensland’s Emma Manzelmann and Gold Coast’s Jess Elliston are the other two uncapped players in the squad, which will be captained by Ali Brigginshaw and Kezie Apps.
Brigginshaw, 33, might be reaching the twilight of her career but Donald insists the champion halfback still has plenty more to give.
“It was probably her best season in the NRLW, she was named Dally M halfback of the year,” the coach said.
“She’s been a great captain for the team for a long while and she has matured into a really good captain.
“She’s going to help us through the transition over the next couple of years.
“This is the start of a four-year cycle through to the next World Cup. Age is just a number but she’s playing like a 25-year-old.”
Tarryn Aiken Roosters
Kezie Apps Tigers
Shaylee Bent Titans
Ali Brigginshaw Broncos
Lauren Brown Titans
Jaime Chapman Titans
Kennedy Cherrington Eels
Yasmin Clydsdale Knights
Keeley Davis Roosters
Jess Elliston* Titans
Caitlan Johnston Knights
Isabelle Kelly Roosters
Olivia Kernick Roosters
Emma Manzelmann* Cowboys
Shannon Mato Titans
Evania Pelite Titans
Julia Robinson Broncos
Jessica Sergis Roosters
Simaima Taufa Raiders
Emma Tonegato Sharks
Tamika Upton* Knights