The NRL has announced the inaugural 40 elite female rugby league players based in Australia, who will represent the game as marquee NRL players in 2018.
And Parkes product Talesha Quinn has made the cut.
Each player will have the opportunity to participate in various matches and high-performance training camps, as well as undertaking various ambassador activities to promote the game throughout the season.
Players will also be under the guidance of full-time coaching, medical and high-performance staff throughout the year.
Quinn is a big advocate of women’s rugby league, voicing her excitement last month when the Western Region launched its inaugural 13-a-side women’s tackle competition.
Upon her selection for the 2017 Women’s Rugby League World Cup last October, she said her dream – and that of her counterparts – was to one day have an NRL competition and State of Origin series like the men.
“That’s what we’re working towards,” the Cronulla-Caringbah player said.
Senior Manager of the NRL Women’s Elite Program, Tiffany Slater said the inaugural list of elite players have a huge opportunity to continue to shape the next chapter of women’s rugby league.
“Women's rugby league has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time and collectively, we have a long way to go,” Slater said.
“I congratulate and commend the first 40 players on their selection in the elite squad for 2018 and in doing so, securing their position at the top of their game.
“These women will not only have the opportunity to play as part of our Origin and Test matches, but they will be a part of state competitions, the national championship and a premiership competition later this year.”
NRL Elite Programs Manager and Jillaroos Coach, Brad Donald said it was a tough decision to arrive at the top 40 players and confirmed that the goal was to see the number of elite players rise in the future.
“The reality is, there are more than 40 players throughout Australia and many more in New Zealand and throughout the Pacific Islands that are playing fantastic rugby league – up to national and international standard,” Donald said.
“The enthusiasm, commitment and positive attitude of every single player attending the women's training camp on the Gold Coast last month, as well as many more women playing in local league competitions, fills me with great confidence that this will be a fantastic year for women’s rugby league, with a big future ahead.”
The top 40 players headed into camp in Sydney on the weekend to continue preparations for the domestic and international season ahead.