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Knights’ NRLW star Johnston named in Jillaroos’ semi-final squad

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Newcastle Knights star Caitlan Johnston’s incredible season looks set to continue after securing a berth in the Australian squad for Tuesday morning’s Rugby League World Cup showdown with Papua New Guinea.

The Windale Eagles junior, who played a major role in the Hunter club’s inaugural NRLW premiership last month, was named on the interchange by coach Brad Donald.

The Jillaroos face their semi-final rivals on 15 November for the right to face either England or New Zealand in the decider.

The seven players rested from the match against the Kiwi Ferns return to the side – Evania Pelite, Shenae Ciesiolka, Taliah Fuimaono, Holli Wheeler, Tallisha Harden, Olivia Kernick and Keilee Joseph.

Donald said the team was looking forward to the next challenge against Papua New Guinea.  

“We’ve got a really good squad with seven fresh players as well as Keeley Davis who played her first game in round three,” he stated.

“We’ll be keen to see some improvements in our attack but we are really happy with how the team has defended the past three games.

“We’ve got a couple of new combinations, which is important for preparing for all scenarios.

“I’ve said right from the beginning of this tournament it will take the contribution of 24 players to win it.

“And, this team is proof of that philosophy.”

The match, to be played at LNER Community Stadium in York, kicks off at 4am.

Australian Jillaroos squad to face Papua New Guinea:

  • 6. Emma Tonegato, 24. Evania Pelite, 5. Isabelle Kelly, 15. Jaime Chapman, 17. Shenae Ciesiolka, 19. Taliah Fuimaono, 14. Lauren Brown, 7. Tallisha Harden, 8. Keeley Davis, 9. Holli Wheeler, 22. Olivia Kernick, 13. Shaylee Bent, 21. Keilee Joseph; interchange: 2. Sammy Bremner, 20. Caitlan Johnston, 11. Jess Sergis, 3. Ali Brigginshaw ; 16. Kennedy Cherrington (18th player), 1. Kezie Apps (19th player)

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