Jillaroos have the talent to win rugby league World Cup
BRAD Donald believes he has the team to win the upcoming World Cup on home soil and help women's rugby league establish itself as the newest player in the battle for the hearts and minds of sports fans.
The Australian coach on Sunday named a squad of 24 for the upcoming women's World Cup which begins November 16 in Sydney and which Donald believes has the firepower to take out the tournament.
"They are fantastic, They are a really good team,'' Donald said.
"I had the biggest headache with their selection. It was devastating for the players who missed out
"But this is the best team we can put together and yes, it's a team that can win the World Cup.''
The squad includes 16 World Cup debutants, as well as five players who have captained Australia this year in Sam Bremner, Karina Brown, Steph Hancock, Renae Kunst and Ruan Sims.
Other big names include Kezie Apps, Simaima Taufa and Chelsea Baker.
For the first time the women's rugby league World Cup is being played concurrently with the men's World Cup with the two finals played as a double-header in Brisbane on December 2.
Donald believes the tournament provides the stage for his charges to show Australian sports fans how good they are and how entertaining their game is.
"It's important for the sport here in Australia and the establishment of the first big national competition in the future,'' he said.
"The more eyes on the game the more converts we will get. Once people watch it they will love it.
"We want to push their profiles, make them well know. It will put pressure on getting this national competition up and running.
"One of the visions of this team is to inspire others girls to play and also elevate the profile of the team.
"They realise they are playing for every person out there to become a fan of the women's game.''
While sports like cricket, AFL, netball, football, hockey and rugby sevens have well received national leagues for women established, rugby league does not.
Australia's first game at Southern Cross Group Stadium is against the Cook Islands on November 16.