Foursome set to make Jillaroos' debuts
AUSTRALIA could blood as many as four debutants when the Jillaroos take on the Kiwi Ferns in Friday's Anzac Test double header.
Simone Smith, Amelia Kuk, Zahara Temara and Isabelle Kelly have all been named in the extended Jillaroos squad for the game.
But the quartet will have to survive a further three-player cut to the extended 20-strong team on Thursday to suit up for the Jillaroos against the Kiwi Ferns.
"Simone Smith has worked really hard to get her opportunity in the squad and to start in the trial match," said coach Brad Donald.
"She's come through the indigenous program, the weights and conditioning program with them, and she moved into the squad and her performances have been excellent - she was player of the match in the All Stars game.
But missing from the action on Friday will be Steph Hancock, who injured her knee on the weekend and will be unavailable for the game.
However once recovered, Hancock will be back in the running for World Cup selection later this year.
Donald said he is pleased with the makeup of his side and the way they are pushing each other.
"There still is a core of players who have been there for a long time but there are more new players and more of the higher competition in NSW and Queensland," he said.
"They're all pushing each other a bit higher so there's more of them. It's important that we recognise that so it does encourage more girls to push themselves harder so they can reap the rewards of the opportunities that are there."