You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Parramatta co-captain Tiana Penitani has officially ruled herself out of possible World Cup selection for the Jillaroos as she races the clock to be fit for Sunday’s NRLW grand final against Newcastle.

Penitani’s planned wedding with former NRL winger Aaron Gray is scheduled for November with the Eels centre recently notifying Australian coach Brad Donald of her unavailability.

The 26-year-old incumbent Jillaroos outside back made her international debut in 2019 and would’ve been well in contention to retain her spot for the trip to the UK next month.

State of Origin coaches Kylie Hilder and Tahnee Norris have a dominant role in picking the final 24-player squad, which will be announced next Monday on October 3.

“I planned my wedding around the 2021 World Cup [last year] so by the time they had changed that and push it to this year I’d made a few commitments already financially,” Penitani said on Thursday.

“I’ve spent the last 10 years sacrificing a lot of personal things for football so thought this was an occasion to put myself first.

Who will come out on top: Eels

“I have 150% faith in the team Brad will take over, there’s so much talent for him to pick from. He’ll have to make some tough decision.

“I’m looking forward to just switching off and enjoying a really special moment in my life. If you know ‘Donz’ (Donald) you know he’s super supportive of us as people and not just athletes.”

Meanwhile, Penitani’s immediate focus is getting herself right for the Eels after she tore a quad muscle against the Broncos in Round 5.

Penitani is rated unlikely to overcome the injury but joined the Eels for training and a fitness test on Thursday night ahead of a final run on Saturday.

“It’s feeling good at the moment but I’ve got a few boxes to tick,” Penitani said on Thursday.

“I’ve been running this week at a good 60% but the real test will be trying to get to top speed. It depends on the feel and how much power you can generate.

“I [have to be] close to 100%. I’d rather not cause a distraction to the team and be in the headspace that they’re playing.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Major Sponsor

Premier Partners

View All Partners