Feeney’s clinic will be chance for region’s best to shine

WESTERN region’s top women’s rugby league players will be aiming to impress during this Wednesday’s clinic being run by Jillaroos assistant coach Jamie Feeney.

THREE HOUR TEST: This Wednesday's clinic will be a learning opportunity for the region's top tackle talent, like Bathurst's Haylee Lepaio.

THREE HOUR TEST: This Wednesday's clinic will be a learning opportunity for the region's top tackle talent, like Bathurst's Haylee Lepaio.

Up to 30 of the best women’s rugby league players from around the Western region are expected to be invited to the three-hour clinic being held at Jack Arrow Sporting Complex.

The clinic will be a chance to not only develop skills but for NRL officials to scout potential talent.

Feeney brings in experience from his nine years in NRL with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and Melbourne Storm and as they new Elite Female Pathways Manager.

NRL Western regional game development officer Dave Elvy said the clinic is going to be a big test for all involved.

“He wants to identify a few girls in the tackle system and is bringing along Simon Buxton, who does strength and conditioning for the Jillaroos, and he’ll be doing some testing and putting the girls through exactly what they put the national team through,” he said.

“They’ll try and identify a few girls that they can invite to a camp later in the year.”

The Western Rams played their first game of women’s tackle in over a decade when they met Riverina last October.

Since that match there’s been plenty of buzz around the tackle format in the region.

Group 10’s representative team went on to claim the inaugural Western Women’s Rugby League premiership.

Bathurst players have featured prominently in the inaugural Group 10 and Western representative teams, continuing on from their long standing success in ladies league tag.

One of those Bathurst players – Haylee Lepaio – went on to represent Country Rugby League’s Southern side in their April exhibition against their Northern counterparts.

Orange Hawks trio Ella-J Harris, Sally Dwyer and Bec Ford plus Blayney’s Grace Mooney all featured alongside Lepaio.

Elvy is hopeful Wednesday’s clinic will show Feeney and other NRL representatives in attendance the strength of the region’s talent pool.

“It’s great that guys like Jamie are interested in coming out here to areas that don’t have a full tackle competition,” he said.

“Having these avenues where we’re doing a six-week tackle competition is great because we’re giving them a taste of it. 

“It’s a pathway to hopefully make country teams and possibly these NRL teams that are starting up this year.

“It’s hard for our players to get identified without travelling somewhere else and I know that Jamie is interested in doing more of these around the region because there’s definitely talent in this area.”