Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) have today announced the Queensland Reds Academy Squad ahead of the 2023 Buildcorp Super W season, who have this week commenced pre-season training at Ballymore.
The 41-woman squad has a mix of experienced campaigners and new faces, featuring 26 previously capped Reds, ten capped Wallaroos including returning 2022 captain Shannon Parry, as well as two players capped for Fijiana in Vua Rasolea and Ema Masi.
Simon Craig, who will return as head coach for the 2023 season, has identified a number of players who have emerged from Queensland Premier Rugby, as well as two players – Nambour Toads backrower Megan Prinsloo and Roma Echidnas fullback Meg Jakins – who have been selected off the back of their performances for the Queensland Country Orchids.
“I believe we’ve put together a really strong Academy squad leading into the 2023 season,” said Craig.
“We have a strong contingent of the 2022 cohort returning, whilst we’ve also identified new talent from the Queensland Premier Rugby competition and Country pathways.
“The City v Country tri-series of games at the back of the Queensland Premier Rugby season, which saw the Country Orchids take on City North, West and South, provided us with a good opportunity to see some of the top performers in Premier Rugby play at another level whilst also seeing the players who had progressed along the Country pathway into the Orchids squad.
“Both Megan Prinsloo and Meg Jakins from the Orchids really stood out for Country in all three of their games and it’s great to be able to bring those girls from genuine regional clubs into the fold.
“We’ve also worked closely alongside the Queensland Academy of Sport Women’s Sevens program and we will see a few players transition across to XVs which will be exciting.
“From this group we will select our final Reds squad for the Super W campaign.
“With the Women’s Rugby World Cup Grand Final on this weekend, we’ve seen over the last month the excitement that continues to build around the women’s game and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve with this group next year as we look forward to 2023 and beyond.”
The 2023 Buildcorp Super W draw will be announced later this year and will again see the Queensland Reds play a home-and-away schedule of matches against the other Australian Super Rugby franchises as well as the Fijiana.