THEY have been pushing each other in the back yard and on the field for the Hamilton Hawks. Now the Nathan sisters, twins Leilani and Nicole and younger sibling Lakesha, will combine forces for NSW Country.
The teenagers are among eight Hunter players, including Katrina Barker, Maya Stewart, Britney Duff, Emma Bradford and Tammy Clay in the Country squad that takes on Sydney Blue and Sydney Gold in the Chikarovksi Cup at Narrabeen this weekend.
At stake is a place in the NSW Waratahs Super W train-on squad for 2020.
Country meet Sydney Blues on Saturday at 1pm and back up against Sydney Gold on Sunday at 11am.
Barker and Stewart were a part of the title-winning Waratahs side this year.
For the Nathan sisters and Bradford, in particular, it's a chance to test themselves.
The twins and Bradford are part the of New England University squad competing in the national sevens series.
"After a year being developed at sevens and 15-a-side rep level, I think they have matured and are very close to making the next step," Hunter coach Will Scully said.
"Emma has played two rounds of AON sevens and will be there or thereabouts. She was in the Australian youth sevens team a couple of years ago and is now realising her potential.
"Tammy is an exceptional player. If this was 10 years ago, it would have definitely been her playground."
Leilani and Lakesha are back-rowers and Nicole plays in the centres. They are all utilities in the shortened version of the game.
"Even though they are twins they have differences," Scully said. "Leilani is very strong at the breakdown. She gets down low and steals a lot of ball. Nicole has developed a good step. She is happy to take the ball forward but is quite good off her right foot.
"Lakesha finished year 12 at SFX (Saint Francis Xavier college), last week. She has been the bolter. She only started playing sevens a year ago and wasn't going to play at all this year. We got her to play a bit of sevens and she enjoyed that. She got comfortable training with the 15s, then she ended up playing, then she trialed for rep and got selected for Country. She ended up being one of our better loose forwards. She has a wonderful attitude."
Scully said the competition between the sisters pushed them along.
"The twins are really hard on each other but in a good way," Scully said. "They push each other to train, to do extra fitness sessions and excel on the field. There is a bit of banter between them as you would expect from twins. The competition is really positive. When Nicole was asked to represent UNE last weekend, Leilani was over the moon for her."