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Next gen: Players to watch at the National Championships

The Harvey Norman National Championships kick off on Thursday with 14 teams competing across two age divisions. 

NSW Country opens will start the day with a clash against the Northern Territory before the NT take on the First Nations Gems.

The under 19s tournament starts at midday with a clash between NSW City and Victoria. 

NRL.com takes a look at some of the players to watch throughout the tournament. 

Mardi Longford (Australian Defence Force)

ADF prop Mardi Longford arrives to the Championships with plenty of promise. The 24-year-old, who works in the Navy, has been plying her trade as a middle forward in Cronulla's Harvey Norman NSW Premiership and is looking to take the next steps in her career with a possible NRLW call-up in the future.

Bree Chester (First Nations Gems)

The Newcastle junior will represent the Gems again in 2022 after she missed the NRLW season at the Knights due to a heart condition. Chester, a rising back-rower, was signed by Newcastle on a development deal and made her return to the field in the Harvey Norman NSW Premiership. 

2022 Women's National Championships - Day 1

Abigail Sekitoga (Northern Territory)

An exciting young fullback who has been floating between rugby league and union in Darwin. The Fijian teenager is considered a gifted all-round athlete who hasn't been afraid to move interstate to play after featuring for the Bulldogs in the Tarsha Gale Cup competition recently.

Rueben Cherrington (NSW City)

The younger sister of Eels enforcer Kennedy Cherrington, Rueben will feature in her second tournament after making a move from Western Australia following her school studies. Already signed to the Eels for the upcoming NRLW season, the 18-year-old hooker will be looking to cement her spot in the under 19s Origin clash for the Blues.

Charlize Lloyd-Phillips (NSW Country)

A member of the premiership-winning Roosters Tarsha Gale Cup side, Lloyd-Phillips is back for another tournament after representing NSW in the under 19s curtain raiser last season. The flashy winger is a prolific try-scorer with three tries in a game earlier in April. A strong performance at the Championships and with possible Origin selection, Lloyd-Phillips is destined for higher honours.

Chantay Ratu (Queensland Rubys)

A promising playmaker from Queensland, Ratu is destined for big things in the game ahead of a possible under 19s Origin debut later this month if she can perform at the tournament. A Keebra Park high school student, Ratu has been playing for Tweed in the BMP Premiership and is considered a star of the future. 

Theophelia Mosby-Nona (Queensland Sapphires)

The talented young prop hails from the Torres Strait, coming from Yorke Island, which is just 2.7 kilometres long and just 800 metres at its widest point. Mosby-Nona played with the victorious Queensland Under 17 Country team last year and featured for the Townsville Blackhawks in the QRL’s Harvey Norman Under 19 competition earlier this season.

Adalaide Faamausili-Fala (Western Australia)

A 19-year-old forward who plays for Kwinana in the local Perth competition, Faamausili-Fala is a former state level swimmer and brazilian jiu jitsu champion who also plays gridiron.

Audrey Holt (South Australia)

An emerging winger from the Western District Warriors club in South Australia, Holt is fresh to rugby league but has a lot of potential with her strength and size not to be underestimated.

Holt's fitness is also her best asset with the 18-year-old coming into the tournament with a high 19.5 in the 30-15, which is on par with the Jillaroos figures.

Jade Te Aute (Victoria)

The 18-year-old arrives to the National Championships with promise after representing the Melbourne Rebels in the Super W this year. 

Te Aute, who is set to play five-eighth during the tournament, played league for NRL Victoria at 16 before switching to sevens recently. 

She was included in the Australian rugby sevens' players of national interest squad last year as part of her development. 

 

The 2022 Harvey Norman National Championships will be live streamed on NRL.com across the four days with both finals on Sunday June 12 to be shown LIVE on Kayo Sports.


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