Two of New South Wales’ brightest young talents, Rachel Trenaman and Belinda Vakarewa, have been selected for the inaugural 2017 Women’s National Performance Squad (NPS). Fellow Lendlease Breaker Lauren Cheatle will also be part of the camp as she ramps up her preparations for the upcoming Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes Series.

The addition of a women’s National Performance Squad is yet another step in the professionalisation of the women’s game, following the professionalisation of the LendLease Breakers in 2016, and enables Australia’s most talented young cricketers to compete and learn from their peers.

The squad will spend two weeks at the Bupa National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Brisbane under the watchful eye of former Australian representative and Lendlease Breakers Assistant Coach Leah Poulton, who was appointed Cricket Australia High Performance Coach earlier this year.

The program will provide an even mix of training and competition with a strong leadership component, which acknowledges the important role the squad will play in Australian cricket over the years to come. The squad will also have the opportunity to train alongside and play a series of practice matches against the Australian Women’s team as they prepare for the upcoming Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes Series.

Speaking ahead of the camp, Cricket Australia High Performance Coach Leah Poulton said she is looking forward to helping further develop the likes of Vakawera and Trenaman as athletes both on and off the pitch.

“It’s really exciting to be able to facilitate the women’s NPS for the first time with a group of players who have been touted as future Australian players,” Poulton explained.

“This program is designed to complement the work being done with the players in their respective states and allow them to experience international playing and training environments as well as being exposed to a variety of conditions.”

 2017 Women’s National Performance Squad

Maitlan Brown, ACT

Piepa Cleary, WA

Ash Gardner, SA

Heather Graham, WA

Tahlia McGrath, SA

Sophie Molineux, VIC

Rachel Trenaman, NSW

Belinda Vakarewa, NSW