Dual Australian Jillaroos and Papua New Guinea Orchids representative Amelia Kuk looks set for a busy year with the inaugural professional women’s national rugby league competition coming to fruition in 2018.
Over the weekend, Kuk recently attended a 52-player camp run by Jillaroos coach Brad Donald.
The camp was organised for the players to continue with their off season training and preparation leading into the 2018 season.
It also doubled as an opportunity for the players to trial for the 40 contracted positions ahead of the NRL women’s premiership.
According to Kuk those 40 players will be spread evenly among the six chosen women’s NRL clubs.
Kuk mentioned the camp was “really enjoyable” and it had been a good test for her knee (medial collateral ligament), which she injured at the World Cup late last year.
Kuk told The Women’s Game, “Some of the girls were injured or had to work, but there was [sic] still a big number of girls there and they put us through all these different (fitness) testings.
“We undertook fitness testing including agility skills.
“On the last day they killed us, so it was a really physical and exhausting camp, but it was really good.”
Personally, 2017 was a dizzying time for Kuk, where she debuted for the Jillaroos at the Auckland Nines, followed by a trip to the country of her birth playing against the Orchids for the Jillaroos.
A month later she was in PNG colours at the Women’s Rugby League World Cup after missing out on the 24-player Jillaroos squad.
Kuk also played for Queensland in the Interstate women’s rugby league challenge and she made the list of top 10 women’s rugby league players at season’s end. https://rugbyleagueopinions.com/world-top-10-female-women-rugby-league-players-nrl/
The former PNG sevens rugby union representative humbly took it all in her stride and felt if she had been selected to play for the Jillaroos she more than likely wouldn’t have been recognised, due to the talent across the board in the Australian team.
As for 2018 and the future, Kuk hopes to play for the Jillaroos again, as she feels the systems are in place and Australia is far more advanced than PNG at this moment.
“If the situation arises and I have to choose I’d probably play for Australia, as I’d be learning so much.
“At the end of the day (when retired) I want to go back and help the PNG girls out, but I’m not at that place yet.
“The training camps and getting the best coaches in the world to coach me, so I think I will be playing with Australia if I was lucky enough to make the team again”, Kuk said.
While Kuk dreams of becoming a fulltime professional rugby league player, for now she’s happy to start her new career in nursing after graduating from university last year.
All the while continuing to showcase her blinding speed and evasive step as a semi-professional rugby league player.