Upton rewarded for stellar form with debut as Donald sticks solid with World Cup stars for Kiwi Ferns clashes

The NRLW’s best player, Tamika Upton, will make her Jillaroos debut in the Pacific Championships after a calf injury cruelled her chances of representing Australia at last year’ World Cup.

Upton, who won the Karyn Murphy Medal after starring in Newcastle’s thrilling Grand Final win over the Titans, has beaten out Dragons rival Teagen Berry for the fullback’s role in Brad Donald’s 21-woman squad.

The Jillaroos will play New Zealand at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on October 14, before a return bout at AAMI Park in Melbourne on October 28.

Ali Brigginshaw and Kezie Apps are co-captains of a squad which contains just two other uncapped players in North Queensland’s Emma Manzelmann and Titans prop Jess Elliston.

Tamika Upton(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“I’m extremely excited to see what this squad is capable of,” Donald said.

“All of the players have shown great form in the NRLW competition. We have a good mix of experience and youth to ensure the best possible showing against the Kiwi Ferns.”

Jillaroos squad 

Tarryn Aiken                     Roosters
Kezie Apps                        Tigers
Shaylee Bent                    Titans
Ali Brigginshaw                Broncos
Lauren Brown                   Titans
Jaime Chapman              Titans
Kennedy Cherrington      Eels
Yasmin Clydsdale            Knights
Keeley Davis                     Roosters
Jess Elliston*                   Titans
Caitlan Johnston             Knights
Isabelle Kelly                    Roosters
Olivia Kernick                   Roosters
Emma Manzelmann*      Cowboys
Shannon Mato                 Titans
Evania Pelite                     Titans
Julia Robinson                 Broncos
Jessica Sergis                  Roosters
Simaima Taufa                Raiders
Emma Tonegato              Sharks
Tamika Upton*                 Knights

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