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Aussie women's gridiron team keen to fire on world stage

AUSSIE REPS: Members of the Australian women's gridiron team Rhianna Kuss, Casey Cubis and Brandie Clucas are ready for the challenge.
AUSSIE REPS: Members of the Australian women's gridiron team Rhianna Kuss, Casey Cubis and Brandie Clucas are ready for the challenge. Warren Lynam

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Australia quarterback Casey Cubis says her team is determined to prove a point at the world championships in Canada next month.

The country's inaugural women's gridiron team will compete against the host country in its first match of the six-team competition, which also includes the might of the United States.

And the Sunshine Coaster Cubis is confident the Outback can cause a surprise.

"There's probably a few people in the gridiron world who don't rate us too highly but we're keen to show the rest of the world what we're made of,” the 30-year-old said.

"We're definitely aiming for a medal, what colour that is will be up to us.”

Cubis is one of three quarterbacks in the 52-strong squad, which was whittled down from 100 players during two camps, including one at Currimundi.

She's hoping to play a significant hand.

"I am training as hard as I can to prove to our coaches that I deserve a starting spot,” she said.

And she's not the only Sunshine Coast player in the line-up.

Linebacker Brandie Clucas and corner-back Rhianna Kuss are also part of the squad, which is making a breakthrough for the sport.

"This is the first ever Australian women's gridiron team so that's pretty exciting,” Cubis said.

"It's part of history so that's pretty cool for us.”

She said the code was getting stronger, with a competition in south-east Queensland, which featured the Sunshine Coast Spartans.

"I think the women's teams in that are definitely growing, not just in the number of teams but in the number of girls participating in those teams,” she said.

Cubis has played Australian Rules for most of her life but has taken to gridiron largely because it's "something different”.

"A lot of girls play netball or soccer or things like that that are quite typical of Australian culture and just to say you play gridiron, it gets people interested, they want to ask questions, it's a really good way to spread the word about it.

"And learning something new is really challenging.”

While the sport appears to be all crash and bash, there is more to it.

"I love how technical the game is,” she said.

"Every play is scripted. Things can go wrong once the plays unfold but it's very strategic. Reading defence and offence can be quite complex.”

Topics:  gridiron