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Australia's oldest rugby league club, the Newtown Jets, will hand over the keys to the commentary box to three women this weekend to broadcast what is believed to be the first all-female rugby league match commentary in the world.

The Newtown Jets  take on the Illawarra Cutters at 3pm on Saturday 24 May in the VB NSW Cup, the New South Wales Rugby League's flagship competition.

The historic all-female call is in support of the McGrath Foundation’s mission to raise money to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia, and to increase breast awareness in young women.

Commentaries of all Newtown Jets home games are broadcast by Steele Sports on

At the Jets' first home match after Women in League round, Steele Sports will give its regular male commentators the day off and open the mic’s to three ladies who have decades of rugby league reporting experience between them.

ABC Grandstand presenter Debbie Spillane will lead the call. Debbie is one of Australia's first female sports journalists, and has called rugby league, soccer and cricket for ABC and commercial radio stations.

She will be joined by journalists and rugby league specialists Joanna Lester and Melinda Farrell. Joanna was a member of the BBC Radio 5Live commentary team for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup in Europe and covers rugby league for ABC Radio Australia and various print media. Melinda is a freelance journalist and broadcaster who have worked extensively in rugby league, covering the NRL and the Super League, and is a Foundation Friend for the McGrath Foundation.

Rugby league fans across the globe can tune into this likely world first at

Supporters at the game can also hear the call by purchasing a pair of 'Jets Ears', which allow fans at Henson Park to listen in to every Newtown Jets home game commentary in 2014.

McGrath Foundation Ambassador and Director, Tracy Bevan, says the McGrath Foundation continues to be blown away by the support from Australian communities which go a long way in helping the Foundation ensure every family in Australia experiencing breast cancer has access to a breast care nurse no matter where they live or their financial circumstance.

“We are proud to have 92 McGrath Breast Care Nurses working nationally who together have supported over 25,000 Australian families experiencing breast cancer. Events like this are truly helping us to make a difference,” Tracy said.

Steele Sports founder Alby Talarico is honoured to have been able to form a team of distinguished female presenters for this great cause.

To donate to the McGrath Foundation via the Newtown Jets all-female commentary online fundraising page, please visit: and follow the McGrath Foundation links.


Jane McGrath’s personal experience has seen a team of passionate and dedicated people come together and step up to the challenge of making life for families experiencing breast cancer just that little bit easier.  Until there is a cure for breast cancer, the McGrath Foundation is committed to providing as much support as it can for families facing a breast cancer experience through the funding of McGrath Breast Care Nurses nationally, no matter where they live or their financial situation.

In addition, Jane’s diagnosis at just 31 made her passionate about encouraging young women to be breast aware by knowing their breasts and being aware of any changes.  Again, from this inspiration, the McGrath Foundation has now developed the innovative Curve Lurve program which focuses on empowering young women to look after their bodies, know what’s normal for them and take action that promotes their own health and wellbeing, while at the same time debunking common community myths.

To find out more about the McGrath Foundation and how you can help make a difference, please visit our website ( or join us on Facebook (mcgrathfoundation), Twitter (mcgrathfdn) or Instagram (mcgrathfoundation) and encourage your friends to do the same.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours 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.

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