Seven Hunter stars have been included in the NSW Country squad. Image via Stewart Hazell.

Seven Hunter rugby stars have been named in the NSW Country squad to contest the ChikarovskiCup this October, including national Super W champions Cheech Barker and Maya Stewart.

Alongside Barker and Stewart will be five more Hunter rugby talents, including Emma Bradford, Britney Duff, Lakesha Nathan, Leilani Nathan, and Nicole Nathan. The seven stars have contested the local women’s premiership for much of the year.

The selected squads – NSW Country as well as Sydney Gold and Sydney Blue – will undertake training programs throughout September ahead of the Cup, with New South Wales Womens head coach Matt Evrard helming the development camp.

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Paddy Brown has been named to coach the Country side.

The Chikarovski Cup is an important pillar in NSW Rugby’s pathway to elite women’s rugby and also provides an opportunity for talent identification for the 2020 Buildcorp Super W season. The cup is named after NSW Rugby chair Kerry Chikarovski.