Former Wakefield Trinity and Bradford Bulls man Ben Jeffries has thrown himself into coaching since retirement coaching women’s rugby league and he is set for another big gig as he leads the Indigenous side in the All Stars clash ahead of 2023.
Speaking on the NRL website, Jeffries opened up on his journey to this point:
“The first year I started coaching (women’s rugby league) … I coached the under 14 North Queensland Marlins which is quite ironic, because it had girls in it like (women’s Indigenous All Stars representative) Jasmine Peters, that was 2016; and in the same year at the back end of that year, I coached the Queensland Murri team which went against the NSW Kooris, which was the old trialling system for the All Stars,” Jeffries said.
“All Stars is a different challenge this year, we’re going ‘off-site’, going over the ditch basically, but that should be awesome,” Jeffries said.
“New Zealand haven’t had too much football the last couple of years either, so that should be an awesome atmosphere to be honest.
“They’ve got a really proud history as we do, they will be looking to put a show on and I’m sure they are going to try and bombard us, which is part and parcel of it.
“So I am really looking forward to seeing how the Indigenous team play and how they challenge themselves in a different arena on foreign territory.
“We’ve got a bit of a camp this weekend that’s more cultural, but it’s to bring all of the players that are in the mix to this All Stars campaign and obviously try and show some of the younger ones the pathway as well to give them an opportunity to see what’s involved.
“And the World Cup players who have just played are obviously exempt for this camp. They can come of their own accord, but they are not expected to do anything physical.
“Obviously we have got some seasoned campaigners there and going off the back of the World Cup, we fielded our strongest contingent of Indigenous players at a World Cup which is a massive tick from our point of view; that’s where we want them to get to, to play in the highest level which is the Jillaroos.
“They all had really good campaigns and enjoyed the experience and will certainly be at the forefront of the selection process, but we have some young ones coming through who have come through the PM’s XIII who may put themselves in the spotlight.”
Jeffries recently revealed that he would be open to a move to Super League as a coach.