Committed girls clock up the kilometres
RUGBY LEAGUE: Commitment to a sport doesn't get much stronger than the love 13-year-old's Shanea Irwin and Ana Bates from Stanthorpe have for rugby league.
The girls travel to Ipswich for training each week and then games all over south-east Queensland on weekends.
They play for the North Ipswich Tigers and were lucky enough to play on the hallowed turf of Lang Park (Suncorp Stadium) in the lead-up to the Anzac Test match on Sunday afternoon.
The girls played during the half-time break of the Jillaroos (women) game against New Zealand.
Shanea and Ana felt a little overwhelmed by the occasion.
"There was a whole heap of people watching us.
Thank God we played at the half-time break before the main game or there would've been a whole lot more," Ana and Shanea said.
The girls were excited to see their Kangaroo heroes while in the tunnel waiting to play, especially sighting Greg Inglis and Sam Thaiday.
"We all just started screaming," Shanea said.
"I love Greg Inglis and Ana's favourite player is Sam Thaiday."
Shanea's mother Serena loves the girls playing rugby league and is more than happy to make the massive round trips each week.
"The best thing is seeing the smiles on the girls' faces," Serena said.
"We have three country girls from Stanthorpe and Warwick playing for Ipswich and next year we could have another three."
However, Serena hopes enough girls are interested in playing rugby league to form a Warwick and District team for next season so families don't have to travel so far for regular games.
"They have an under-16s but they are thinking about bringing in an under-14s team," she said.
The girls both love rugby league and think other girls should get involved in the sport.
"It's a fantastic sport. You get to take out your anger in a controlled environment and it keeps you off the street," Shanea said.
"I really enjoy it."
Ana agreed with her teammate.
"It's great for making new friends," Ana said.