Young NRLW stars, and their growth across the future, are the focus of Brad Donald’s recently named Prime Minister’s XIII, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
That’s why rising Novocastrian stars Caitlan Johnston, Brydie Parker, and Bobbi Law – all of whom were involved in the Roosters’ extended squad – have all been included in the roster set to don the green and gold against Fiji at Fiji’s ANZ Stadium.
“This year’s Prime Minister’s XIII squads focus on youth and experience,” the Prime Minister said. “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 scene.”
Johnston played all three games in the Roosters’ struggle of a season, recording 65 tackles and nearly 50 post-contact metres during her 113 minutes played off the bench against all three of the competition’s heavy hitters.
Law was made to wait for her NRLW debut by Roosters boss Rick Stone. She slotted into the centres alongside CRL Newcastle teammate Isabelle Kelly in the team’s final clash of the season, as they faced the St George Dragons.
The 22-year-old from Port Stephens left a lasting impact on the league, crashing over for a four-pointer in the 24-16 loss at Leichardt Oval. She also recorded two tackle breaks, a line break, and ran nearly 100 metres.
Parker was also involved in the Roosters training squad, and although she was involved in Sydney’s inaugural 2018 campaign she didn’t play a game in 2019.
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Coach Brad Donald also said the fact that PM’s XIII stars were already cropping up in the NRLW, or already playing like the Novocastrian trio, shows that the representative pathways in Australia are strengthening to meet the national level already.
“We had thirteen players from last year’s squad play in the NRLW this year, which shows the elite pathway is truly working,” Donald said. “It’s an incredible opportunity, empowering communities and women throughout to the Pacific both on and off the field.”
The women’s squad, which also includes NRLW stars like Kirra Dibbs, Karina Brown, and Quincy Dodd, will face Fiji in Suva on October 11.