Heather Ballinger shows her style for the Maroons at Suncorp Stadium.
Heather Ballinger shows her style for the Maroons at Suncorp Stadium. QRL

Local girls are all stars

THREE women with a Southern Downs connection will play an All Stars game at Suncorp Stadium on February 9 next season.

Stephanie Hancock, Jo Barrett and Heather Ballinger have been selected in the All Stars women's team to play an indigenous side in a curtain-raiser to the men's game.

All three are regulars in Queensland and Australian Jillaroos women's teams.

Hancock, who is originally from Killarney, is a former Australian open javelin champion and daughter of State of Origin original Rohan Hancock.

Both will be honoured on the same platform on Saturday when the Wall of Legends is opened at the Warwick Cowboys clubhouse.

Barrett hails from Warwick and Ballinger was a boarder at The Scots PGC College in an era when she and Barrett were two of the best school athletes in the Warwick area.

A broken leg cost Barrett the chance to play in one All Stars game so she is going into her second game in February and both Hancock and Ballinger will play their third.

Ballinger now works in north Queensland and was player of the match in a State of Origin victory against New South Wales this season.

Barrett said All Stars games were the best opportunity for women to showcase their game.

"The All Stars promotion is growing and growing which is why it is at Suncorp Stadium next year," she said.

"The girls from the south of Queensland will hold some training sessions late this year and we will all get together for a camp or two."

She estimated a third of the players in representative teams were eligible for indigenous selection.

Hancock and Ballinger have been named as the starting props with Barrett in the centres.

Hancock has played a lot of footy at five-eighth or centre and Barrett is often a forward.



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