19-year-old ruck Rene Caris is set to make her AFLW debut this weekend when the Cats face the Lions in Brisbane. 

Caris met with coaches Paul Hood and Natalie Wood late Tuesday night, and was given the news by Aasta O’Connor, her former academy coach.

“I was just taking my time after training, I knew Hoody wanted to chat, but I wasn’t sure what about. I walked into the meeting room and saw that Hoody, Nat and Aasta were waiting for me. Once I knew I wasn’t in trouble, Aasta told me the good news and said I was going to be playing this weekend.”

“It was special to be told by someone I look up to on and off the field. For her [Aasta], I know she’s been looking forward to this game in Brisbane, but in a sense, I know she is happy for me as she’s helped me a lot coming up to this moment”.


After a standout 2018, where she was named in the TAC Cup Team of the Year, and the All Australian u18 squad; Caris will come on to the AFLW scene in the ruck in round 5.

“I’ve been fourth in line for that ruck position, so I wasn’t really sure if I was going to get a go or not, but it’s going my way this week.”

“I know the other ruck and I think I can use this to my advantage, but the plan is to get as much advice from the coaches as I can and really use this as an experience to develop.”

After a solid performance in the VFL practice match last Sunday, and plenty of work in the gym, Caris believes she is ready to go.

“I definitely needed to have a run around [on Sunday], it’s been a while since that practice match against Carlton, which would have been over a month ago now.

“I’ve come a long way in the gym I know. The first game I was dying to be out there with the girls, but I really focused on the little extra things I could do off the field to improve my game until it was my time”.  

Caris admits she is both nervous and excited for this coming weekend, but the support from her teammates will help calm her nerves.