Jillaroos debutant expecting Ferns attention
Caitlyn Moran may well be the smallest player on the paddock when she runs out for her hometown Jillaroos Test debut on Friday afternoon but her hearty attitude won't be letting her down against the Kiwi Ferns.
Moran is one of four debutants named by Jillaroos coach Steve Folkes to play the Kiwis and at 20 years old is expected to be one of the Ferns' main targets.
Set to play a utility back role for the Jillaroos, Moran discovered exactly what she was in for earlier in the week when the squad did a video session on their opponents.
"The video review on the Kiwi Ferns, wow. It was definitely eye-opening. I'll have to throw my 65 kilos around and see how I go. I'm expecting to be targeted big time," Moran laughed to NRL.com.
"They'll see a little girl like me and try to get me but I know I won't be alone out there.
"It's the big time. I'm actually scared and nervous at the same time but it's going to be nice that my family and friends will be able to come and support me in my Test debut."
Muswellbrook Rams junior Moran was once lost to the game at the age of 12 to Rugby Sevens. After a successful stint there, she was slowly convinced into a return to league with the Hunter Stars which has ultimately led to her being named in the Jillaroos squad.
"Once I was finished with league back in the under-12s I was just thinking 'what's the next sport or what's out there that I can do?' and that's why rugby union became an option, considering all the pathways," Moran said.
"Now with league getting bigger and all the support I'm getting, it's awesome. Bec Young (fellow Jillaroo Emma Young's sister-in-law) scouted me over and told me to come over to the Hunter Stars for a year and it was just like when I was little.
"I was a bit on the fence about it though at first but then I realised I wanted a bit of a challenge again and to see if I still had it.
"I can now say I enjoy league a lot more. I can sit and watch a game of league and I know what's going down. The friends you make through league helps too."
Moran also credited her brother, Kurri Kurri Real NRL player Cameron Moran, for helping shape her career.
"I was thrown into the Rams team when I was younger because my brother played football and I kind of wanted to do everything to be like him in a way. My brother has played a massive part in my life football-wise," she said.
"He's taught me a lot if not everything that I know about football. He's playing first grade for Kurri now and I'm so proud of him. I can only imagine how proud he is of me too."