Doyalson Dragons coach Karley Banks is set to take the helm of the Australia under 18 boys squad in the upcoming Trans-Tasman Test Series to be held in Newcastle in 2020.

Newcastle mentor Karley Banks has been named as the head coach for the Australian under-18 boy’s squad set to contest the 2020 Youth Trans-Tasman Series in the Hunter.

The Trans-Tasman event is considered the pinnacle of international touch football outside of the Touch World Cup, and will feature teams from Australia and New Zealand battling it out in Newcastle across men’s, women’s, and mixed divisions.

“I’m very humbled, honoured and grateful to be appointed as head coach of the team,” Banks said after the announcement.

“It means the world to me to get to represent Australia, and I am so excited. I will be doing my level best to not let [anyone] down, and do you all proud by doing my job as well as possible for the Aussie contingent in January next year in Newcastle.

“Congratulations to all the other Coaches in the TFA Youth Program on their appointments – looking forward to working with everyone and preparing as well as possible to defend the crown next year in front of the hometown crowd.”

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There’s also a building level of excitement for the massive international test series to descend on Newcastle in 2020. Knights chief executive Philip Gardner said it was a “fantastic event” for all Knights fans to look forward to and get behind.

“The Knights are proud to be part of these events and urge all Novocastrians to show their support, as Newcastle continues to show that it is one of the leading sporting hubs of Australia,” he said.

“The event will not only promote Newcastle internationally, with a live stream broadcast estimated to reach 3.1 million but will highlight the home of the Knights to an international audience, which will be a great boost to the town and the club.”

Banks is not the only woman taking the lead of teams in the series. Renee Murphy from the Gold Coast will take charge of the under-18s girls, while Leasha Thouard will be the Australian women’s under-20s assistant coach.

Read: ‘There were so many dark days’: World Cup winning coach Karley Banks speaks on her battles to prove herself in the world of football.