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Wests Tigers trio make PM's XIII

Wests Tigers trio Botille Vette-Welsh, Christian Pio and Jakiya Whitfeld have been selected to play for the Australian PM's XIII against Papua New Guinea next weekend.

Pio: Dominating the middle for Wests Tigers in 2023
Pio: Dominating the middle for Wests Tigers in 2023

In her third season in the NRLW Wests Tigers prop Pio has played in all eight games in 2023 and is leading the competition in 'offloads', closely followed by teammate Najvada George.

Whitfeld: 60 tackle breaks in eight games this season
Whitfeld: 60 tackle breaks in eight games this season

Winger Whitfeld is also at the top of the charts in her first season at Wests Tigers, breaking more tackles than all but one other player in the NRLW through eight rounds.

Back in business: Vette-Welsh injury-free
Back in business: Vette-Welsh injury-free

Vette-Welsh, who is today celebrating her 27th birthday, has made a successful return to the top-flight after enduring a 16-month absence through injury. 

She says she's delighted to be back playing the game she loves after returning from a knee reconstruction.

"I'm stoked to get selected and I'm just so happy to be playing NRLW again," said Vette-Welsh.

There have been a lot of positives in our inaugural season from a really young group of players and we'll be better for the experience next season.


"We're hoping to end this season on a high when we take on the Knights at home on Thursday."

Australian Women's PM's XIII vs PNG Women's XIII at Suncorp Stadium last year
Australian Women's PM's XIII vs PNG Women's XIII at Suncorp Stadium last year

The Women’s Prime Minister’s XIII has been selected with a view to giving some of the best up and coming players in the NRLW an opportunity alongside a number of established representative players including Vette-Welsh, Kennedy Cherrington, and Tallisha Harden.

The Australian Men’s and Women’s Prime Minister’s XIII squads will take on PNG PM’s XIII teams at Santos National Football Stadium in Port Moresby, on Saturday, September 23.

ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys AM congratulated all players on their selection in a special team.

“These players have performed exceptionally well throughout the season and have earned the chance to wear the Green and Gold for Australia,” Mr V’landys said.

“I congratulate the players selected for both teams as to represent your country is the ultimate achievement.

It’s also an inspiration for fans in Australia and of course the fans in PNG, where Rugby League means so much.”

The 2023 Australian Women’s Prime Minister’s XIII:

Teagan Berry - Dragons

Kennedy Cherrington (VC) - Eels

Rueben Cherrington - Eels

Abbi Church - Eels

Keisha-Leigh Coolwell - Broncos

Quincy Dodd - Sharks

Kayla Fleming - First Nations Gems

Tallisha Harden © - Cowboys

Kimberley Hunt - Eels

Emma Manzelmann - Cowboys

Jasmin Morrissey - First Nations Gems

Rachael Pearson - Eels

Christian Pio - Wests Tigers

China Polata - Cowboys

Tiana Raftstrand-Smith - Cowboys

Taneka Todhunter - Eels

Cassey Tohi-Hiku - Eels

Botille Vette-Welsh - Wests Tigers

Jakiya Whitfeld - Wests Tigers

Janelle Williams - Raiders

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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