FORSTER-Tuncurry’s Kylie Hilder has been included in a 40-strong elite women's representative rugby league squad.
The squad, which included players from NSW, Queensland and even Northern Territory-based Meg Ward, will take part in training camps as well as receiving regular access to top-level coaching, medical and high-performance staff.
NRL elite programs manager Brad Donald said limiting the squad to 40 was a tough task.
"The reality is, there are more than 40 players throughout Australia and many more in New Zealand and throughout the Pacific Islands that are playing fantastic rugby league – up to national and international standard," he said.
"The enthusiasm, commitment and positive attitude of every single player attending the women's training camp on the Gold Coast last month, as well as many more women playing in local league competitions, fills me with great confidence that this will be a fantastic year for women's rugby league, with a big future ahead."
The selection marks another step forward for the women's game – one that will include an NRL club-based competition for the first time in 2018.
Hilder was a member of North Newcastle’s side in last season’s NSW Women’s Rugby League competition. Norths were beaten in the grand final.
Hilder was also named Country’s player of the match in the inaugural clash against City. She is the NSW Rugby League’s female recruitment and participation officer.