Queanbeyan Blues star Teliya Hetaraka says it will be an "amazing opportunity" to play for an NRLW contract in the women's State of Origin curtain-raiser.
Hetaraka, 19, is one of many talented players who will take the field ahead of Friday night's women's State of Origin match when the Queanbeyan Blues host the Woden Valley Rams at Canberra Stadium.
With a Canberra Raiders NRLW side confirmed for 2023, playing in front of so many people could provide a great opportunity for anyone who shines.
"I can probably speak for a lot of the girls in the KFS (Katrina Fanning Shield) competition, that this is an amazing opportunity to showcase the talent in Canberra," Hetaraka said.
"To get the opportunity to play in front of such a big crowd and with potential selectors out there, we have to take every opportunity and just play the best footy we can."
Hetaraka was one of many young girls who grew up playing rugby league with the boys, before having to stop aged 12 with no pathways available.
With women's rugby league continuing to grow, Hetaraka was grateful girls could now play the game they love at the professional level.
"I am fortunate that I have opportunities to make a career out of rugby. Since I was four I can remember running onto the field with my best mates and I think it would be amazing to run out and call Canberra home," Hetaraka said.
"As a kid I wore headgear so no one would see my hair and after the game I would take it off and everyone was like, 'Oh my god that was a girl' and then I got treated differently.
"It was a massive push for me to show everyone that this is who I am, whether you like it or not. If you wanna play against us then play against us, it's not a problem."
A spot in the KFS top two could be up for grabs as both sides look to cement themselves in the top four before the run to finals.
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Hetaraka said it would be even more special for her personally, as she gets ready to go up against some of her best friends in the Rams side.
"On a personal level it's huge to be able to go out there and represent our local club, it's definitely gonna be a tough game on Friday and that makes it even more special," Hetaraka said.
"Personally I will be playing some of my best mates on that field. This game will showcase Canberra and the two sides. I can't wait to go out there, it's pretty important for both sides to get that top-three spot."
The match kicks off at 5.30pm before the women's State of Origin match at 7.45pm.
Friday: Queanbeyan Blues v Woden Valley Rams, Canberra Stadium, 5.30pm.
Saturday: Harden Worhawks vs Yass Magpies, 12.15pm. Boomanulla Raiders v Tuggeranong Bushrangers, Boomanulla Oval, 1pm.
Sunday: Goulburn City Bulldogs v South Coast United, Workers Arena, 10.40am.
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