THE burning question about Ashleigh Quinlan is this.
Will she do a reverse James Tamou with pike?
Tamou was chosen in the New Zealand squad last year but played for Australia against her homeland in the recent rugby league Test.
Quinlan has just played for Australia in their 2-1 win against her native New Zealand in the Trans Tasman open women’s touch football series.
The 17-year-old Hills Sports High student won the Kristy Judd award and has been tagged as touch football’s brightest young star.
If she can’t name her own price — there is no NRL-style money in women’s touch football — she should certainly be able to name her own country.
The girl herself?
Quinlan said she just wanted to learn.
“It was one of my big goals to make the Australian women’s open team,’’ she said.
‘‘I expected it a bit later.
“We (17-year-old Charlotte Caslick and herself) are so young, I didn’t think we’d get the opportunity at this stage, but it’s really good.”
Before the series, Quinlan’s wish was to learn from the best.
“I’ve learned a lot from the girls, the older ones especially, like Woodsy (Kelly Woods), KJ (Kristy Judd) and Weezo (Louise Winchester).’’
The Kristy Judd award?
It was created in the lead-up to the 2011 World Cup, and given to a player who epitomises the characteristics of one of the women’s game’s stalwarts.
They include dedication and commitment, always putting the team first and consistent performances, being a good role model and playing with the right spirit.
Quinlan’s selection made the year 12 student one of a handful of 17-year-olds to have represented Australia at open level.
At 15, she was part of the Sydney Mets Open team that won the 2010 national league title and was there again when NSW won the 2011 Elite Eight title.
She was brought into the NSW CHS 18s at 15, has won consecutive titles with the team, and was one of the youngest of the Australian 18s that defeated the Kiwis 3-0 in the 2011 Youth Trans Tasman series.