Chelsea Baker in action
Chelsea Baker in action Gregg Porteous GLA09231117BAKER

Baker ready for next challenge

RUGBY LEAGUE: Gladstone Wallabys women's dynamo Chelsea Baker has been selected for more Australian duties.

The talented Australian Jillaroos' winger has been named in a squad of 15 for the Commonwealth Championship in this Friday's and Saturday's nines tournament in Redcliffe.

Baker said preparations have been on track.

"Preparations for the nines has been short, but good and this is a stand-alone championship," she said.

Baker was a member of the Jillaroos side which claimed the World Cup against New Zealand on December 2 and the weekend's hit-out will be its first since that famous day.

Jillaroos will field two debutantes - Illawarra's Rikeya Horne and Tallisha Harden (Burleigh Bears) and Baker said she looks forward to seeing what this pair can do.

"It's great to have new talent in the team and I have played with Tallisha previously," Baker said.

"Her fitness and knowledge of the game is a great bonus for us.

"I've not played with Rikeya before, however she did outstanding at our recent camp so I can't wait to see what she can do on the field."

Jillaroos coach Brad Donald said Baker will be an integral part of the team and he hopes her form will be repeated from a previous nines event.

"She was player of the tournament last year at the Auckland Nines and we've gone with a very similar look and feel around the team to what we did last year," he said.

"We're expecting Chelsea to find the try line a few times like she did in Auckland and I'd be very surprised if she doesn't."

Donald said the competition will feature some world class teams and hopes this format of league will be accepted in the next Commonwealth Games in 2022.

"It's our championships for the Commonwealth Games and we're a level below an actual Commonwealth games sport," he said.

"This is all about building the game to a certain standard and hopefully, in four year's or eight year's time, we tick all the boxes and become a Commonwealth Games sport."

Australia will play against teams which include Fiji, Samoa, Canada, Cook Islands and Tonga in the nine-a-side tournament.

Meanwhile there will be a Gladstone Junior Rugby Leaqgue Girls Only Camp at the Briffney Creek Junior Rugby League Fields.

The camp is for girls aged between 13-17 years and call or email Rod Dahl on 0448813666 or rdahl@nrl.com.au for more details.

JILLAROOS SQUAD

Nakia Davis-Welsh, Karina Brown, Corban McGregor, Isabelle Kelly, Chelsea Baker, Ali Brigginshaw, Maddie Studdon, Vanessa Foliaki, Brittany Breayley, Simaima Taufa, Talesha Quinn, Annette Brander, Zahara Temara, Rikeya Horne, Tallisha Harden



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