Queensland Reds name team for Super Rugby Women’s Grand Final re-match At Ballymore

Wed, Mar 13, 2024, 2:57 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit

Jemma Bemrose, Doreen Narokete and American Charli Jacoby have been named to make their Queensland Reds debuts as starters for Sunday’s kick-off to Buildcorp Super Rugby Women’s at Ballymore Stadium.

Head coach Grant Anderson has announced an exciting blend of experience and youthful ambition for the feature clash against the Fijian Drua from 1.35pm AEST.

Meeting the two-time defending champions from Fiji is a tough first-up assignment which has created a feature Round One clash to christen the new season.

“It’s a good way to kick-off…a Sunday afternoon at Ballymore, a grand final rematch from last year, meeting the two-time champions and the first Super W game to be held here since the new National Rugby Training Centre was built,” Anderson said.

“It’s a momentous occasion. We talk about defending our home ground and making it a fortress so I expect the girls to be fired up.”

Flanker Bemrose, 21, comes into the pack for the first time as a two-time premiership winner with her club side Bond University.

Sunday will be a fascinating match-up against her old side for No.8 Narokete, 21, who came off the bench for the Fijian side in last year’s 38-30 climax in Townsville.

She finished last season in Brisbane with the Brothers club and talks were initiated to have her play for the Reds while remaining eligible for Fiji’s national team.

Jacoby, 34, adds a vital dose of experience in the front-row. The USA Eagles prop has 24 Tests behind her.

“Gemma has a really good workrate. She’s a smart footballer and offers a lot defensively as well. She’s earnt her way into the side,” Anderson said.

“Doreen played club rugby for Brothers to finish last season. She liked the facilities we have here at Ballymore and the program. It’s credit to Doreen and what we are doing at the Reds that she’s given up a full-time program in Fiji to be with us.

“She’s that X-factor for the pack as a big ball-runner and a high-impact tackler.

“Charli is an experienced international. That’s invaluable for the younger forwards.”

Wallaroos Carys Dallinger, Sarah Dougherty and new captain Cecilia Smith provide calm direction as game managers at flyhalf, halfback and inside centre respectively.

Wallaroos fullback Lori Cramer’s return from English club Exeter Chiefs was quickly felt in last weekend’s trial win over the Melbourne Rebels in testing heat and wind.

Her classy early 50-22 kick to the corner set up a position for the Reds’ rolling maul to operate off a lineout and set up a chance for Narokete to score.

Captain Smith said the lift-off to a new season is always exciting.

“To be honest, losing the grand final still stings. We had our opportunities but it’s a new season and team to build fresh chances,” Smith said.

“You always have to make your tackles and limit the offloading game of the Fijian girls. It’s a good one first up.”

From the bench, there are more potential Reds debuts with 16-year-old Ipswich State High School centre Shalom Sauaso, utility back Ava Wereta and English flanker Lucy Thorpe.

Queensland Reds v Fijian Drua

Sunday 17 March

Ballymore Stadium

1:35pm AEST

Watch live via Stan Sport

1. Madi Schuck – Bond University – Alexandra Hills SHS – Redlands

2. Tiarna Molloy – Easts – Warialda State High School

3. Charli Jacoby * – Bond University – Bartlett High School, USA

4. Deni Ross – Wests – Oak Hill College

5. Aleena Greenhalgh – Wests – Shalom College Bundaberg

6. Jemma Bemrose * – Bond University – Elanora SHS – Palm Beach Alligators

7. Carola Kreis – Easts – Columneetza Secondary School, Canada

8. Doreen Narokete * – Brothers – Wesley College

9. Sarah Dougherty – GPS – Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay

10. Carys Dallinger – Easts – Manukura School, NZ – Fielding Yellows, NZ

11. Ivania Wong – Sunnybank – Balmoral SHS

12. Cecilia Smith (C) – Sunnybank – Leeton High School

13. Mel Wilks – Bond University – Beerwah SHS

14. Caitlin Urwin – University of Queensland – St Patrick’s College – Gympie Hammers

15. Lori Cramer – University of Queensland – Kelvin Grove State College


17. Liz Patu – Wests – Corinda SHS

18. Maletina Brown – Easts – Kingston College – Logan Saints

24. April Ngatupuna – Easts – Porirua College, NZ

19. Ashlee Knight – Wests – Superior Senior High School, USA

20. Haidee Head – Easts – Loudes Hill College – Easts

23. Lucy Thorpe ** – Bond University – Queen Elizabeth High School - Tynedale

21. Ava Wereta ** – Bond University – King’s Christian College – Coomera Crushers

22. Shalom Sauaso ** – Sunnybank – Ipswich SHS – Marist Ryze

*Queensland Reds debut

** Potential Queensland Reds debut