Dual international Bec Young missed out but North Newcastle teammates Caitlin Moran and Isabelle Kelly have been named in the Jillaroos merit squad.
The Australian women’s rugby league announcement was made on Friday morning and comes after the trio helped NSW claim back-to-back Interstate Challenge titles over Queensland last month.
Jillaroos coach Brad Donald picked 17 players with just over 100 days left until the World Cup kicks off in Sydney.
“We’re fortunate to have an incredibly talented and committed playing group at the elite level of the women’s game and at a time when women’s pathways in rugby league has never been stronger,” Donald told NRL media.
“Those in this merit team not only deserve to be named due to their on-field performance, but every one of them has gone above and beyond to include and embrace new audiences, fans and participants, particularly in the lead up to the Interstate Challenge.
“As a Jillaroos squad, which includes a majority of members from both Interstate Challenge teams, a representative from each affiliated state, and a member of the victorious Australian Defence Force World Cup winning team, we now set our sights on preparing for the rugby league World Cup.
“Whilst those who were named in the inaugural merit team deserve recognition, we refocus now as one team with one goal and that is to defend the World Cup on home soil.”
The Jillaroos won their first World Cup in England in 2013.
JILLAROOS INTERSTATE CHALLENGE MERIT TEAM
Sam Bremner (NSW)
Karina Brown – Easts Tigers (QLD)
Isabelle Kelly (NSW)
Corban McGregor (NSW)
Jessica Sergis – Cronulla-Caringbah (NSW)
Caitlin Moran – North Newcastle (NSW)
Maddie Studdon – Redfern All Blacks (NSW)
Ruan Sims – Cronulla-Caringbah (NSW)
Brittany Breayley – Brothers Ipswich (QLD)
Heather Ballinger – West Brisbane Panthers (QLD)
Kezie Apps – Helensburgh Tigers (NSW)
Jenni-Sue Hoepper – Townsville Women (QLD)
Simaima Taufa – Mounties (NSW)
Ali Brigginshaw – Brothers Ipswich (QLD)
Elianna Walton – Greenacre Tigers (NSW)
Lavina Phillips – Redfern All Blacks (NSW)
Vanessa Foliaki – East Brisbane Tigers (NSW)