The Women's Indigenous All Stars with the trophy in 2017.
The Women's Indigenous All Stars with the trophy in 2017.

914km bus ride to make an All Stars training session

The women's Indigenous side is full of young and enthusiastic players - and all are ready to make their mark.

Among them is 20-year-old debutant Terri-Ann Cain, who plays for Ipswich Brothers in the Queensland Women's Rugby League competition.

Coach Dean Widders was impressed with her commitment to get to training in Sydney when her flight was cancelled from her home town, Brisbane.

"There's a young girl named Terri (Ann) Caine, who sort of came from nowhere and played really well at our Koori Knockout and Murri Carnivals, and I think she's one to keep an eye on," Widders told

Cain made a 17-hour bus trip, travelling 914kms from Brisbane to Sydney, in order to make the All Stars training session and take her opportunity.

"She came all the way from Brisbane for a training session in Sydney - the planes got cancelled and she caught a bus down.

"It was an amazing effort. It shows her commitment."

This isn't the first time the 20-year-old has been in the spotlight.

In 2008, a then 12-year-old Cain broke two sprinting records at the Pacific Schools Games where she represented Queensland - completing the 100 metre sprint in a time of 12.20, and the 200 metre sprint in a time of 25.15.

Terri-Ann Cain (left) pictured in 2010 ahead of the state championships.
Terri-Ann Cain (left) pictured in 2010 ahead of the state championships.

Cain will be one of many young players to face off against the Maori All Stars side in Melbourne on February 16, with at least five 18-year-olds making the Indigenous team.

"It's a new crop - it's young, they're hungry, and they want to put their best foot forward for the NRL," Widders said.

"These girls are going to be really enthusiastic and great to work with."

Among the 18 players selected for the squad is 13 All Stars debutants, many discovered at the Koori Knockout and the Murri carnivals.

Although several players were unavailable for selection due to injury, retirement, or family circumstances, Widders believes there is still room for them on the team.

"We had Jasmine Allende, Caitlin Moran... they were all unavailable, for injury or retirement or pregnancy, so we had a few unavailable.

"But those girls will play a role as well by trying to get down and assist us during the week."

The Indigenous All Stars coach is looking forward to both teams representing their cultures - and believes that the Indigenous players will bring their pride on to the field, particularly when performing their war cry before the match.

"The girls love doing that (a war cry), so they'll come up with something, and the Maori girls will be very passionate in their Hakka, so our girls will come up with something and perform it well because that's what we're all there for - to represent our culture and showcase how proud we are of being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders."

The women's match will take place at AAMI Park on Friday, February 15 at 5:10pm, followed by the men's match at 8:00pm.



Indigenous Women's All Stars

Akayla McQuire, Amber Pilley, Caitlan Johnston, Jenni-Sue Hoepper, Kandy Kennedy, Kyara Nean, Layla Fauid, Quincy Dodd, Rebecca Young, Samartha Leisha, Shakiah Tungai, Sharon McGrady, Shaylee Bent, Tahlia Hunter, Taleena Simon, Tallisha Harden, Terri-Ann Cain, Tommaya Kelly Sines


New Zealand Maori Ferns

Acacia Claridge-Te Iwimate, Amber Kani, Botille Vette-Welsh, Harata (Charlette) Butler, Christyl Stowers, Hilda Mariu, Jonsal Tautari, Kahurangi Peters, Kararaina Wira-Kohu, Kathy Keremete, Kerehitina Matua, Krystal Rota, Rona Peters, Geneva Webber, Tazmin Gray, Te Aroha Hapuku, Tyler Birch, Zahara Temara