Orchids join Cowboys

Papua New Guinea Orchids World Cup quartet, Essay Banu, Shellie Long, Jessikah Reeves and Sera Koroi have agreed to contracts with the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys NRLW side for the maiden 2023 campaign.

Banu (Tully) and Long (Innisfail) are both North Queensland products with PNG heritage, who relocated to South East Queensland as teenagers, but will return home to suit up for the Cowboys.

Banu was named in the 2022 BMD Premiership Team of the Year at prop after a sensational campaign with Wynnum Manly. The 20-year-old was rewarded with her international debut for the Orchids at the 2022 World Cup.

Long came through the North Queensland Marlins pathways and the 2017 Queensland Academy of Sport program with fellow future Cowboys teammates Emma Manzelmann, Jasmine Peters and Reeves. 
The 22-year-old centre has been in strong form for 2023 BMD Premiership ladder leaders Souths Logan.

A former Queensland under 18s and Queensland Academy of Sport star, Reeves was named Player’s Player for the Orchids at the World Cup. An aggressive middle forward, Reeves played for the Central Coast Roosters in the 2023 Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership.

A utility with the ability to play multiple positions, Koroi emerged as a budding star at the World Cup. The 20-year-old is also currently playing for Souths Logan, spending time at both five-eighth and centre over the course of the first five games of the season.

“These four PNG Internationals will bring a real diversity to our squad in terms of culture in addition to their experience from playing in the recent World Cup,” Cowboys NRLW head coach, Ben Jeffries said.

“All four players were regular starters at the recent World Cup and just as importantly, are great humans, which is what we look for when attracting players to the Cowboys.

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