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Queensland Rugby League is pleased to confirm the appointment of Tahnee Norris as the new coach of the Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons.

As the most capped Australian Jillaroos player with 32 appearances, the former Queensland representative lock forward brings a wealth of experience to the prestigious role.

Norris has also built an impressive coaching resume since retiring as a player, having chalked up five club premierships with the Burleigh Bears.

“I can’t wait to take it up and get to work,” Norris said.

“Since retiring from footy, it has been a goal of mine to be coaching these girls at this level, and trying to give them the opportunity to succeed and be better athletes.”

Norris takes the reins from Jason Hetherington, with the new Maroons coach to work closely with all clubs across Queensland’s premier female statewide competition as part of an expanded role with the QRL.

“I’m looking forward to how strong the BHP Premiership is going to be this year,” Norris said.

“We just got glimpses of it with the Holcim Cup last year and unfortunately we didn’t have as many north Queensland girls participating as what we will this year.

“There’s so much talent coming through the country regions and I can’t wait to see what comes out of it, especially in those first couple of games.”

QRL managing director Robert Moore congratulated Norris on her appointment.

“We had a host of quality applicants, but what really stood out was Tahnee’s excellent coaching record and her commitment to women’s rugby league over many years,” Moore said.

“Tahnee is really well positioned to connect with the players and work closely with everyone involved in our competitions and pathway programs.”

Norris, who played in four World Cups for Australia, said she would look to build on the Maroons’ successful 2020 campaign.

“Full credit to Jason, Karyn Murphy and Nat Dwyer and the entire group last year; what they put in place, and what they have done over the past couple of years,” Norris said.

Norris will be supported by assistant coaches Aaron Zimmerle and Ben Jeffries as the Maroons ramp up preparations for the annual clash against New South Wales on June 25.

“Zimmo and I have coached together with the SEQ sides at the nationals, so I’m really looking forward to working with him,” Norris said.

“We’ve got a good rapport with each other and bounce off each other a fair bit with our footy.

“It’s the same with Ben, he’s got a great knowledge of the game and he’s worked with our Queensland Under 18 girls in the past.

“He also knows the girls coming through in north Queensland, which I think is going to be a really big bonus for us.”

Maroons legend Murphy will remain involved in the team’s camp preparations, which will be heavily supported by physical performance consultant John Mitchell, who has more than 25 years’ experience across a variety of elite sports.

The QRL wishes to acknowledge the services of Dwyer, who played a key role as an assistant coach in last year’s victory.