Elianna Walton will line-up for New South Wales for the ninth consecutive time this Sunday, in the Women’s Interstate Challenge at WIN Stadium.   

The New South Wales and Queensland women will go head to head in the curtain raiser before the Manly Sea Eagles play the St George Illawarra Dragons, to help celebrate the Women In League round.

Walton will play at prop/lock after starting her career in the centres and cannot wait to represent her state on Sunday. Walton admits determination was a key factor in how she has focused on footy and playing for her state:

"To play for 9 years in the Blues jersey means that I never quit on my goal when things got hard and shows me that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to. It also means all the years of hard work and sacrifices are starting to pay off and I am forever grateful to my support network that have always been there for me."

Thanks to her family, Walton grew up being exposed to rugby league. She is passionate about seeing the movement in women’s football and believes playing in a curtain raiser (before Manly Sea Eagles and the Dragons) will be great exposure:

"I’m a third generation female player as my grandmother played as did my mother, and I used to follow my mum to training when I was a little girl and help out with the water bottles. I come from a family of boxers, union and league players, so you can say I came out of the womb with a footy! To me it means that we have a product that needs to be shown on a massive stage and we deserve the exposure for all the hard work. We want to see women’s footy excel.”

Walton is a terrific role model for young women who wish to play rugby league after being very generous with her time assisting the Bulldogs Tarsha Gale side. She hopes to “build the profile of women’s footy in our district because there is so much potential and talent in our area”.

Walton expressed her gratitude with being involved with the Bulldogs throughout the past couple of years:

“I was so happy that I could be a voice for the girls in pushing for the Tasha Gale Cup side and having an involvement in their trial process. Being asked to hand out their awards at the presentation night was a highlight because I got to see them get the recognition that they deserved for all their hard work and to see Page McGregor our little 'Gromit from Greenacre Tigers' get player of the year, was such an honour.”

Good luck to Elianna and the NSW women who will defend the Nellie Doherty Cup for the first time when they battle QLD at WIN Stadium this Sunday July 23, kick-off at 11:45am.