Rugby League: Ellenbrook Rabbitohs premiership player looks at next step

Zakiya Kereopa (15) Noranda plays NRL for Ellenbrook Rabbitohs and her team won their grand final last week and will be representing WA in an upcoming tournament.
Zakiya Kereopa (15) Noranda plays NRL for Ellenbrook Rabbitohs and her team won their grand final last week and will be representing WA in an upcoming tournament.

FRESH from winning Ellenbrook Rabbitohs’ inaugural premiership, WA’s best NRL girls tag player Zakiya Kereopa is in contention to represent the State for the first time.

Noranda resident Zakiya (15) was recently named WA’s under-16 touch rugby competition’s best player.

She is presently participating in the trials for the VIVA7s under-17 national championships, which will be held in Perth in December.

VIVA7s is a modified rugby discipline that is a tackle-less game featuring seven players, each game lasting 16 minutes.

The Hampton Senior High School student said she played touch rugby for leisure and fitness but she hoped to join the VIVA7s team.

“Trials has only been three weeks and going on for another week… so hopefully I can get selected in there and see what happens,” she said.

“That would feel good and it would be another achievement.”

Her mother Juanita said this season was her first after a two-year absence.

“The club has only been established for two years and we are the first team to win a minor premiership and we are also the first team to win a grand final from the club,” she said.

“For next year, she will be too old to play for girls league tag and our club does not have a women’s team. But with rugby, Rugby WA has got this pathway and if she continues with it, it determines whether there is the opportunity for her to travel to Sydney, make the Youth Olympics team…. it is a whole lot bigger than WA teams.”

Juanita added she was confident that Zakiya would succeed in rugby.

“I just think whatever pathway Zakiya chooses, she is going to succeed… us as a whole family supports her 100 per cent and her father would be extremely proud of her.”