AN Australian victory at the historic 2017 Women’s Rugby League World Cup over the next month will cap off a brilliant year for former Muswellbrook student Caitlin Moran.
The talented youngster, who can play five-eighth, centre or hooker, chalked up a grand final appearance with North Newcastle this season and picked up the NSW Women’s Premiership best and fairest award, the Brad Fittler Medal.
Now, the ex-Muswellbrook Public School pupil has set her sights on bigger things after being named in the “green and gold” for the upcoming tournament, which kicks off with a showdown against Cook Islands at Shark Park on November 16.
Wins over England and Canada, as well as the semis, will propel the Jillaroos into the decider at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium before the men’s finale on December 2.
The 20-year-old, who turns 21 while in camp on November 20, admitted she was “stoked” to gain national selection for her first World Cup.
“I made my Australian debut in 2016; then played in the Auckland Nines and Trans-Tasman Test this season,” Moran said.
“A few of the older girls who I respect talked about it [the World Cup], so it was a goal to be named in the side.
“And, to have the opportunity to play alongside them, in an event like this, is pretty cool.
“New Zealand and Canada, who is a very strong team, are probably the biggest dangers.
“Hopefully, I can relax after it – and do a bit of travelling.
“We return to the training paddock [for North Newcastle] about February or March.
“But, at the moment, my focus is on the World Cup and preparing for that.
“I’ll be happy to play wherever the coach puts me.
“Then I’ll take stock of things afterwards.”
Moran, who was a regular face at the Olympic Park touch fields, said she still had strong ties to Muswellbrook.
“My mum [Linda Carson], grandmother and many other relatives live in town,” she explained.
“I come back regularly on free weekends to see them.
“They’ve all been very supportive.”
JILLAROOS FIXTURES: November 16 v Cook Islands (4pm); November 19 v England (1.45pm); November 22 v Canada (4pm); November 26 semi-finals; December 2 final (3.45pm)