The South Sydney Rabbitohs will be well represented at the NRL’s Festival of Indigenous Rugby League in Newcastle next week (Saturday February 8th), with Souths Cares’ Kiara Maza selected in the NSW Women’s Indigenous side, while Kareel Phillips will represent Laurie Daley’s non elite Indigenous team after spending a week training with the Rabbitohs’ squad.
The two Redfern All Blacks players will take their place in their respective sides, with the NSW Women’s Indigenous Team set to take on the QLD Women’s Indigenous Team at 3.15pm on Saturday the 8th.
The First Nations Goannas will take on the Newcastle Knights in a trial match at 7pm.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Kiara, who will be coached by former Rabbitoh Dean Widders.
“I can’t wait to play in this team – especially against girls who have been playing so long and representing Australia and their community and culture.”
Kareel – the nephew of Rabbitoh Nathan Merritt – was officially welcomed into the First Nations Goannas camp on Tuesday as he set off for a week’s training with the Rabbitohs alongside Rex Johnson. The camp is part of the NRL’s initiative to give talented young Indigenous players first-hand experience of what it takes to play in the game’s premier competition. Redfern All Black, Roy Smith, was also selected in the side.
But the Phillips connection doesn’t end there, with Kareel’s sister, Lavina, also set to line up for the NSW Women’s Indigenous Team alongside Kiara and a string of World Cup winning Jillaroos. Lavina and Kiara will be joined by fellow Redfern All Blacks including Khloe Caldwell, Carly Phillips and Shaylin Williams.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs would like to congratulate all the aforementioned players on their selections, and wish them the best of luck with their games.
NSW Women’s Indigenous Team
Caitlin Moran - Newcastle Yowies
Nakia Davis Welsh - Mindaribba
Mailika Moylan - Newcastle Yowies
Tanisha Stanton - Newcastle Yowies
Lavina Phillips - RAB
Kiah Simon - Newcastle Yowies
Rebecca Young - Mindaribba
Julie Young - Mindaribba
Karlinda Potts - Illawarra Titans
Kiara Maza - RAB
Emma Young - Mindaribba
Kandy Kennedy - Mindaribba
Khloe Caldwell - RAB
Carly Phillips - RAB
Nikita Wilson - Sister Strong (Wollongong)
Mel Sutton - Mindaribba
Shaylin Williams - RAB
Eunice Grimes - Mindaribba
Coach: Dean Widders
Manager: Michelle Baille