Women’s world cup, Australia, Jillaroos, squads, Ali Brigginshaw, Jess Sergis, Isabelle Kelly

The women’s Rugby League World Cup has officially launched and there’s a stack of big-name players to keep an eye on.

England and Papua New Guinea kicked off the tournament overnight at Leeds with respective wins over Brazil and Canada.

The reigning women’s Dally M Medalist, Raecene McGregor, will don the No.7 in New Zealand’s clash with France at 4am AEDT, Thursday, before a star-studded Jillaroos outfit will take on Cook Islands at 6.30am AEDT, Thursday.

This will be the sixth staging of the women’s World Cup and since its inception in 2000 only two nation’s have taken home the title — New Zealand (three titles) and Australia (two titles).

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Australia — lead by co-captains Sam Bremner, Ali Brigginshaw and Kezie Apps — are hot favorites to take out this World Cup, which is split into two groups.

The Jillaroos headline Group B and will take on Cook Islands and France before an epic clash with New Zealand.

Ten players will make their debut for Australia in Thursday’s game — Shenae Ciesiolka, Evania Pelite, Tarryn Aiken, Shannon Mato, Lauren Brown, Caitlan Johnston, Olivia Kernick, Taliah Fuimaono, Kennedy Cherrington and Yasmin Clydsdale.

Dally M Five-eighth of the Year Aiken will link up with her Broncos halves partner Ali Brigginshaw, while the two will reunite with Broncos hooker-turn-Titans half Lauren Brown, who will slot in at dummy half.

Expect powerhouse Rugby Sevens convert Evania Pelite to notch up some big meters on the wing, while Johnston will provide plenty of punch up front and Fuimaono’s versatility will be crucial off the bench.

Tonga v Cook Islands: Match Highlights | 02:59

But when it comes to x-factor it’s hard to go past Sam Bremner, who returned to the NRLW in style and claimed Fullback of the Year honors.

Bremner missed the 2021 NRLW season (which was played at the start of 2022) due to the birth of her second child but returned to the field in the 2022 season later in the year to produce arguably career-best form.

Bremner has been in such great touch she’s kept the 2021 Dally Medalist, Emma Tonegato, out of the 17 for Australia’s first pool game.

Rising NRLW star Keilee Joseph has been left out of the team for the first game but if the workhorse forward gets enough opportunities she’ll finish the tournament as a fan favorite.

Australia will be keeping a close eye on reigning Dally M medalist Raecene McGregor, who will steer New Zealand around at halfback fresh off her most dominant season to date in the NRLW.

Meanwhile, trailblazing Papua New Guinea skipper Elsie Albert has caused plenty of havoc in the NRLW this year and will be the key for the Orchids.

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AUSTRALIA

vs Cook Islands – 6.30am AEDT, Thursday November 3

vs France – 6.30am AEDT, Monday November 7

vs New Zealand – 6.30am AEDT, Friday November 11

Team list: 2. Sam Bremner (c) 10. Julia Robinson 5. Isabelle Kelly 17. Shenae Ciersiolka 24. Evania Pelite 12. Tarryn Aiken 3. Ali Brigginshaw 23. Shannon Mato 14. Lauren Brown 20. Caitlan Johnston 1. Kezie Apps 22. Olivia Kernick 4. Simaima Taufa. Interchange: 19. Taliah Fuimaono 9. Holli Wheeler 16. Kennedy Cherrington 18. Yasmin Clydsdale. 18th player: 6. Emma Tonegato 19th player: 13. Shaylee Bent.

*The Jillaroos have followed the Kangaroos’ lead in having squad numbers for the tournament rather than positional numbers.

Full-squad: Tarryn Aiken (Brisbane Broncos), Kezie Apps (St George-Illawarra Dragons), Shaylee Bent (St George-Illawarra Dragons) Samantha Bremner (Sydney Roosters), Ali Brigginshaw (Brisbane Broncos), Lauren Brown (Gold Coast Titans), Jaime Chapman (Brisbane Broncos), Kennedy Cherrington (Parramatta Eels), Shenae Ciesiolka (Brisbane Broncos), Yasmin Clydsdale (Newcastle Knights), Keeley Davis (St George-Illawarra Dragons), Taliah Fuimaono (St George-Illawarra Dragons), Tallisha Harden (Brisbane Broncos), Caitlan Johnston (Newcastle Knights), Keilee Joseph (Sydney Roosters), Isabelle Kelly (Sydney Roosters), Olivia Kernick (Sydney Roosters), Shannon Mato (Gold Coast Titans), Evania Pelite (Gold Coast Titans), Julia Robinson ( Brisbane Broncos), Jessica Sergis (Sydney Roosters), Simaima Taufa (Parramatta Eels), Emma Tonegato (St George-Illawarra Dragons), Holli Wheeler (St George Illawarra Dragons).

BRAZIL

vs England – 1.30am AEDT, Wednesday November 2

vs Papua New Guinea – 4am AEDT, Sunday November 6

vs Canada – 4am AEDT, Thursday November 10

Full-squad: Adriana Felix, Amanda Welter, Ana Loschi de Quadros, Bárbara Leal, Brena Prioste, Bryanca Santa Rita, Daniele Soares, Edna Santini, Ellen Trindade, Franciele Barros, Franciny Amaral, Giovanna Barth, Giovanna Moura, Leticia Medeiros, Maria Graf, Natalia Jonck , Natalia Momberg, Pâmella Silva, Patricia Bodeman, Patricia Oliveria, Paula Casemiro, Suzana Rodrigues, Tati Fernandes

CANADA

vs Papua New Guinea – 4am AEDT, Wednesday November 2

vs England – 11pm AEDT, Saturday November 5

vs Brazil – 4am AEDT, Thursday November 10

Full-squad: Maddy Aberg, Nina Bui, Rachel Chaboter, Brittany Douglas, Dani Frananda, Alix Evans, Alanna Fittes, Karina Gauto, Gabrielle Hindley, Britanny Jones, Sarah Maguire, Laura Mariu, Sab McDaid, Jade Menin, Lauren Mueller, Natasha Naismith, Ada Jane Okonkwo, Megan Pakulis, Ferris Sandboe, Kristy Sargent, Zoey Siciliano, Liz Steele, Natalie Tam, Petra Woods

COOK ISLANDS

vs Australia – 6.30am AEDT, Thursday November 3

vs New Zealand – 4am AEDT, Monday November 7

vs France – 4am AEDT, Friday November 11

Full-squad: Kimiora Breayley-Nati (Gold Coast Titans), Erikana Dean (Oakley Bears), Mireka Dean (Toowoomba Clydesdale), Tetuanui Dean (Campbelltown Collegians), Kennedy Harrison-Vahua (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Maleyna Hunapo (Truganina Rabbitohs), Chantay Kiria -Ratu (Tweed Seagulls), Lavinia Kitai (Brisbane Tigers), Beniamina Koitau, Kerehitina Matua (Manurewa Wahine), Terehia Matua (Manurewa Wahine), Moniqca Mo’ale (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Toka Natua (Waikato, NZ), April Ngatupuna (Gold Coast Titans), Daimzel Rongokea (Otago, NZ), Anekka Stephens (Joondalup Giants), Kiana Takairangi (Newcastle Knights), Karol-Ann Tanevesi (Mounties), Tehinnah-Leal Tatuava (Titikaveka Bulldogs), Alekermay Tuaana, Charlize Tumu-Makara (Richmond Rovers), Jazmon Tupou-Witchman (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Elianna Walton (Mounties), Mackenzie Wiki (Manukau Counties)

ENGLAND

vs Brazil – 1.30am AEDT, Wednesday November 2

vs Canada – 11pm AEDT, Saturday November 5

vs Papua New Guinea – 6.30am AEDT, Thursday November 10

Full-squad: Dannielle Anderson (Leeds Rhinos), Caitlin Beevers (Leeds Rhinos), Keara Bennett (Leeds Rhinos), Leah Burke (St Helens), Jodie Cunningham (St Helens), Hollie Dodd (York City Knights), Grace Field (York City Knights) , Fran Goldthorp (Leeds Rhinos), Amy Hardcastle (St Helens), Zoe Harris (St Helens), Zoe Hornby (Leeds Rhinos), Shona Hoyle (St Helens), Tara Jones (St Helens), Vicky Molyneux (Wigan Warriors), Carrie Roberts (St Helens), Georgia Roche (Leeds Rhinos), Emily Rudge (Captain) (St Helens), Tara-Jane Stanley (York City Knights), Beth Stott (St Helens), Paige Travis (St Helens), Courtney Winfield -Hill (Leeds Rhinos), Vicky Whitfield (St Helens), Georgia Wilson (Wigan Warriors), Olivia Wood (York City Knights)

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FRANCE

vs New Zealand – 4am AEDT, Thursday November 3

vs Australia – 6.30am AEDT, Monday November 7

vs Cook Islands – 4am AEDT, Friday November 11

Full-squad: Elisa Akpa (Vice Captain), Gaëlle Alverhne, Jeanne Bernard, Leïla Bessahli, Mélanie Bianchini, Laureane Biville, Mailys Borak, Margot Canal, Elisa Ciria, Anaïs Fourcroy, Chloé Guillerot, Tallis Kuresa, Cyndia Mansard, Sarah Menaa, Lise Michel, Perinne Monsarrat, Elodie Pacull, Zoe Pastre-Courtine, Fanny Ramos, Dorine Samarra, Manon Samarra, Cristina Song-Puche, Louisa Tooman, Alice Varela (Captain)

NEW ZEALAND

vs France – 4am AEDT, Thursday November 3

vs Cook Islands – 4am AEDT, Monday November 7

vs Australia – 6.30am AEDT, Friday November 11

Full-squad: Abigail Roache (Richmond), Amber-Paris Hall (Brisbane Broncos), Annetta-Claudia Nu’uausala (Brisbane Broncos), Apii Nicholls (Gold Coast Titans), Autumn-Rain Stephens Daly (Newcastle Knights), Brianna Clark (Brisbane Broncos) , Charlotte Scanlan (Point Chevalier Pirates), Christyl Stowers (Manurewa Marlins), Crystal Tamarua (Brisbane Broncos), Georgia Hale (Gold Coast Titans), Hailee-Jay Ormond-Maunsell (Gold Coast Titans), Karli Hansen (Tweed Head Seagulls) , Katelyn Vaha’akolo (Point Chevalier Pirates), Krystal Rota (Manurewa Marlins), Laishon Albert-Jones (Point Chevalier Pirates), Madison Bartlett (Gold Coast Titans), Mele Hufanga (Ponsonby Ponies), Mya Hill-Moana (Sydney Roosters ), Nita Maynard (Brisbane Broncos), Otesa Pule (Sydney Roosters), Page McGregor (St George Illawarra Dragons), Raecene McGregor (Sydney Roosters), Roxy Murdoch-Masila (Gold Coast Titans), Shanice Parker (Newcastle Knights)

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

vs Canada – 4am AEDT, Wednesday November 2

vs Brazil – 4am AEDT, Sunday November 6

vs England – 6.30am AEDT, Thursday November 10

Full-squad: Therese Aiton (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Elsie Albert (St George Illawarra Dragons), Lisa-Marie Alu (PNG Highlands Confederate), Bethshiba Awoi (PNG Southern Confederate), Essay Banu (Wynnum Seagulls), Anika Butler (Newcastle Knights), Shae -Yvonne De La Cruz (Souths Magpies), Belinda Gwasamun (PNG Highlands Confederate), Carol Humeu (PNG Southern Confederate), Shirley Joe (PNG Highlands Confederate), Michelle John (PNG Southern Confederate), Elizabeth Kapa (PNG Southern Confederate), Roswita Kapo (PNG Southern Confederate), Gloria Kaupa (PNG Highlands Confederate), Sera Koroi (Souths Magpies), Talita Kunjil (PNG Highlands Confederate), Joanne Lagona (PNG Southern Confederate), Shellie Long (Easts Tigers), Lila Malabag (PNG Southern Confederate), Martha Molowia (PNG Southern Confederate), Jessikah Reeves (Souths Logan Magpies), Emily Veivers (Brisbane Tigers), Veronica Waula (PNG Southern Confederate)

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