Illawarra women have sights on NSW state league title

Illawarra Steelers captain Maddie Studdon will run out for Army at St Marys on Saturday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Illawarra Steelers captain Maddie Studdon will run out for Army at St Marys on Saturday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

RUGBY LEAGUE

With a squad featuring three World Cup winners, Illawarra Division will be among the favourites for the title at the NSW Women's Rugby League State Championships at St Marys on Saturday.

Captain Sam Hammond and fellow Jillaroos Emily Andrews and Maddi Studdon headline a squad of the Women in Army League's top talent as they look to bring home the trophy they last won in 2012.

The table-topping Helensburgh Tigerlilies have eight players in the squad with Berkeley, Port Kembla and Corrimal all heavily represented in coach Chris Studdon's line-up.

"The team's really well balanced," Studdon said.

"They've gelled together really well seeing as they were only chosen on Sunday and we had our last session on Wednesday so I'm more than happy."

Studdon is confident he's picked a squad capable of matching formidable Sydney and Newcastle teams.

"All the Sydney sides are big and physical. Some girls need to get used to it but most of these girls have played some trials against Sydney teams so they know what to expect," he said.

"We've picked a pretty big physical forward pack as well to match that aggression and I'm confident they'll match it.

"We've got four games in two hours so we've got to be prepared to tough it out."

The Illawarra league's leading point-scorer Maddi Studdon, who earned national women's All Stars selection in April, said the team is determined to retake the state crown through their strong squad and big forwards.

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