Rugby League: Australian representatives Caitlin Moran, Bec Young live out World Cup dream on home soil

START: Newcastle-based Jillaroos representatives Caitlin Moran and Bec Young at Alder Park. The World Cup kicks off Thursday. Picture: Josh Callinan
START: Newcastle-based Jillaroos representatives Caitlin Moran and Bec Young at Alder Park. The World Cup kicks off Thursday. Picture: Josh Callinan

Caitlin Moran and Bec Young see each other almost every day.

The Australian women’s rugby league representatives work together, socialise together and during the last 12 months have trained intensively together, including fitness sessions at Alder Park.

Now the Newcastle duo finally get to live out a World Cup dream together on home soil.

“Bec and I have actually been training since last November, making each other run in 30 degree heat,” Moran said.

“It was hard but we had to get through it and our end goal was always pushing for a spot in that World Cup. 

“I work with Bec as well, so we're pretty well together from when we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep at night.” 

Both have now been rewarded for their efforts, selected to play in the Jillaroos’ tournament opener against the Cook Islands in Cronulla on Thursday (4pm).

Wallsend 20-year-old rookie Moran was picked to wear the prestigious No.7 jersey after impressive performances across the backline this season, which featured the inaugural NSW Women’s Premiership player of the year award.  

Adamstown 34-year-old mother-of-two Young returns to the international scene at prop to defend the trophy she helped claim for the girls in green and gold in England in 2013, determined to keep a spot throughout the entire competition.      

They will be joined in the starting 17 by Central Coast-based North Newcastle and Blues teammate Isabelle Kelly in the centres. 

Pool games against England (November 19) and Canada (November 22) follow. Semi-finals are scheduled for November 26. The decider will be a double header with the men’s showdown in Brisbane on December 2.     

Young wants another date with destiny.

“We’re not afraid to say we want to win,” Young said.

“We’re there to win and we’ve been building our confidence, especially in the women’s game, in taking that next step and backing our ability to do really well.”

Moran said the squad, fresh from a week-long training camp on the Gold Coast, were well prepared.

”We’ve definitely ramped up our program with fitness this year,” Moran said.

“From the Auckland Nines to the [Anzac] Test, this is the hardest training I’ve done since I started playing and all the girls have stuck to it.”

Both were supportive of a landmark $3.75 million investment into the women’s game announced this month following the collective bargaining agreement reached by the NRL and Rugby League Players Association.   

It was hard but we had to get through it and our end goal was always pushing for a spot in that World Cup."

Caitlin Moran

JILLAROOS: Nakia Davis-Welsh, Karina Brown, Annette Brander, Isabelle Kelly, Meg Ward, Ali Brigginshaw, Caitlin Moran, Steph Hancock, Brittany Breayley, Rebecca Young, Vanessa Foliaki, Talesha Quinn, Zahara Temara, Maddie Studdon, Lavina O’Mealey, Simaima Taufa, Kezie Apps, Corban McGregor, Heather Ballinger.

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