‘Embrace it’: Dwyer’s confident his Group 10 girls can handle favourites tag

Group 10 women’s coach Jordan Dwyer knows his side will head into the newly formed Western Women’s Rugby League premiership as red-hot favourites.

But he’s confident the squad, named on Monday, will handle that expectation with aplomb.

Dwyer has named a 22-strong squad littered with league tag representative players, and premiership winning nines Hawks girls, ahead of his side’s first game against Group 11 on February 24.

And the message as Group 11, Woodbridge Cup and Castlereagh League sides all gear up to knock Group 10 off?

“Embrace it,” Dwyer said.

“For us, we’ve picked a few extra girls. We’re fortunate we’ve got a good group that’s committed and distance isn’t as big a hurdle for us as it is for other teams.

“We’ve got a few extras that can help out other teams. Where ever we can help, we will.

“We’re all in it together. This (competition) is in its infancy.”

Six incumbent Western Rams league tag stars will line-up in Group 10’s first women’s tackle side, which is dominated by Orange Hawks and Bathurst girls from St Pat’s and Panthers.

Bec Ford, Ella-J Harris, Emily McDonald, Jacky Lyden, sisters Kaitlyn and Lailee Phillips, Bridie McLure, Sarah Reyter and former Forbes gun Sally Dwyer make-up Hawks’ nine player contingent in the squad, which isn’t surprising given the two blues’ went through the Western nine-a-side premiership undefeated throughout October and November.

Panthers’ trio Amy Hewitt, Claire Woolmington and Jess Hotham and St Pat’s guns Meredith Jones, Amy Copping, Haylee Lepaio, Elise Woods and Nicole Schneider make up the Bathurst contingent in the side.

“Little Amy Hewitt from Panthers, there’s not much of her but she goes 100 miles an hour. She was probably one of the most impressive,” Dwyer said, highlighting the Group 10 fullback during trials.

“We went 40 minutes straight (on Saturday), I wanted all of the forwards to play big minutes … I want them to get used to that.

“It was really high quality. There’s no let up, the girls were ripping into each other.”

Dwyer was also surprised with some of Oberon’s representatives at the trials. 

The Tigers have three players in the 22, with another three in the train-on squad.

He said they’ll add plenty of skill to his side’s tilt at the 2018 crown.

“There’s a good nucleus of a really good team there.”

GROUP 10: 1 Amy Hewitt (Panthers) 2 Meredith Jones (St Pat’s), 3 Claire Woolmington (Panthers), 4 Sally Dwyer (Hawks), 5 Emily McDonald (Hawks), 6 Rebecca Ford (Hawks), 7 Jess Hotham (Panthers), 8 Amy Copping (St Pat’s), 9 Ella J Harris (Hawks), 10 Haylee Lepaio (St Pat’s), 11 Jacky Lyden (Hawks), 12 Elise Woods (St Pat’s), 13 Kaitlyn Phillips (Hawks); 14 Lailee Phillips (Hawks), 15 Sarah Reyter (Hawks), 16 Nicole Schneider (St Pat’s), 17 Grace Mooney (Blayney), 18 Anna Evans (Unaffiliated), 19 Bridie McClure (Hawks), 20 Marina Holmes (Oberon), 21 Ebony Fenton (Oberon), 22 Edwina Ulberg (Oberon); Training squad: , 23 Scarlett Breen (Oberon), 24 Marita Shoulders (Oberon), 25 Shannon Fisher (Oberon).

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