Women's tackle rugby league will make history this Saturday with the opening round of the Country Championships.
Nine Group 19 girls form part of the Greater Northern team who will take on North Coast in Coffs Harbour for round one. The side is coached by Mick Schmiedel who was rapt with the attitude of the 20-player squad.
"I haven't been this excited about coaching for a while now. I think it is because of the rawness of the girls, they listen," he said.
"Pete Stevens did an hour on defence with them the other day at Werris Creek and just watching the girls soak up everything he was putting down was just absolutely fabulous."
Schmiedel and the coaching staff, in Stevens, Craig MacLeod and Kate McCulloch have been working on refining the skills of the players but intend to keep their game plan simple.
"I have some simple things in place, there are only four set plays that they have got to memorise and rehearse and in reality they will probably only use two of them," he said.
"I have told them from day one they will be encouraged to play what they see and have some fun with it.
"I don't necessarily want them to play hot potato football but I still want them to enjoy it and not get down if something doesn't work because that is just football but just to go out and enjoy the moment. I think some other coaches might try to over-coach the girls and make them too structured, too robotic but I don't want to do that to our girls because they are new to the game so let them enjoy it and let them learn the game that way."
From Greater Northern's squad of 20, 18 will travel to Coffs Harbour and 17 named to play.
For the Tigers under 23 men, Armidale will be represented with Rams forward Scott McIntyre coming off the bench against North Coast.
Country Rugby League will broadcast the match live through their website and Facebook page.
There will be four matches on Saturday with under 16s playing at 10am before under 18s at 11.20am.
The women's match will be at 12.50pm and the men's under 23s at 2pm.
- Taneika Landsborough
- Toni Skuthorpe
- Lucy Prudden
- Shae Pemberton
- Alyce Walsh
- Amy Barraclough ©
- Robyn Broadbent
- Jess Morgan
- Taylah Blackadder
- Amelia Tunamena
- Brooke Davis (vc)
- Lauren Clarke
- Joan O'Leary
- Brooke O'Halloran
- Sarah Byrne
- Alisa Tunamena
- Katelyn Smith
- Zoe Darlington