Australia New North Queensland rugby league side gives talented women opportunity to play closer to home
Croc spotting: Crocodile spotted by family in Wenlock River near Cape York, Queensland
Jeremaine Agale shared an ominous photo of the Wenlock River near Cape York at Queensland's northern tip on the Cape York Information Facebook page on Thursday alongside a dire warning. 'I know we live in croc country but always be vigilant. A pic from a local family enjoying time on the Wenlock River cooling off until a visitor shows up,' he wrote.The photo showed a crocodile floating in the middle of the river, which is a popular swimming spot for adventurers heading to the very top of Australia.
Emma Manzelmann is recognised as one of the best female rugby league players in the country.
, player of the season gongs, and State of Origin call-ups, but has also had to move thousands of kilometres away from her family and support network.
But that's all changed, with the talented 20-year-old now able to further her career from her hometown.
Manzelmann and fellow Mackay junior and NRLW player Jasmine Peters are the star signings for the Mackay Cutters, who will enter the Queensland Rugby League Women's Premiership competition from next year.
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The hooker said it was an opportunity to be a mentor to younger players, which was something she did not have.
"There were older girls that have played in several things, and teachers like [former Jillaroos] Renae Kunst and Deanna Turner, they were always there," she said.
"But because I was sort of one of the first [players to make it to the NRLW], I didn't really have too many people, but now I get to be that person.
"It's a lot more responsibility to showcase myself and be a leader for the younger girls coming through ... it's exciting."
Building on success
While the Mackay Cutters side will be new to the Queensland women's competition, it will feature several familiar faces.
With the North Queensland Cowboys putting resources to their new NRLW team, it means players from the Cowboys' Gold Stars QRL women's team will pull on the Cutters colours.
Hot weather conditions prompts fire bans and increased chance of severe storms in parts of Queensland, BOM says
The weather bureau warns hot conditions across Queensland today could cause fires in the south and severe thunderstorms in the north. Brisbane is expected to hit 35 degrees Celsius, while Cairns, Rockhampton and Mt Isa are all predicted to reach 34C today.The Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) senior forecaster Kimba Wong said Queensland's weather was a "tale of two stories", with dry heat in the south and humid heat up north.In south-east Queensland, a dry air mass is starting to spread.
Head coach Marco Peters said about 80 per cent of the team would be made up of Gold Stars, who would train out of Townsville, Cairns and Mackay.
"We've gone for a bit more youth, bringing the girls through ... and this is the last piece of the puzzle, having our own [QRLW Premiership] side," he said.
"We're a genuine pathway to the Cowboys, so I'd expect at least 80 per cent of our squad to go up to that level, and that's our job to get them ready for that."
A family affair
For head coach Marco Peters, the appointment extends the playing relationship with daughter Jasmine, who he's coached through her junior and senior years.
"It's fun at the end of the day that my dad is my coach," Jasmine said.
"We can go off to training and then we go home and we're back to father and daughter ... we leave it on the field"
Peters also credited fellow Mackay player and Titans captain Brittany Breayley-Nati for shaping her into the player she is.
"She was in the first ever women's comp in Mackay and I've learnt so much from her.
"She's an amazing captain to learn patience, virtues, morals — she has so much to offer."
While the players will hit the field for their first training session tonight, it's not yet clear when the season will start.
The Cutters are hopeful it will be early in the new year, with the NRLW season to be held in the back half of 2023.
Queensland heatwave sends temperatures soaring across the state, with worst yet to come .
Across the state, temperatures are above average by up to eight degrees Celsius and the heatwave conditions are expected to remain in northern and central Queensland until next week.The Bureau of Meteorology has updated its warning for severe heatwave conditions across north and central Queensland, with extreme conditions flagged in the northern interior.