Women's New Pathways
From juniors to state and national level, for the first time there is a genuine pathway for girls and women in New South Wales wanting to play Rugby League this season.
For the first time in its history the Sydney Metropolitan Women’s competition, beginning today (Saturday, 16 April) will feature two divisions; while in a fortnight, the Sydney Combined Competition will feature girls competitions in 13-15 years and 16-18 years for the first time.
Previously, girls have been allowed to play with the boys in Junior League (6-12 years), but not until they are 17 are they given the opportunity to play Rugby League (in the open competition), meaning unless Rugby League is offered at school, girls aged 13-16 had no opportunity to play the game – and certainly not as a weekend pursuit.
The introduction of the girls divisions to the Sydney Combined Competition means that pathway is no longer broken, given girls and women the opportunity to play through all age groups on their way to representing New South Wales in the Interstate Women’s clash and the Jillaroos at national level.
In the Sydney Metropolitan Women’s competition, three NSW and Jillaroos representatives Sam Hammond, Allana Ferguson and Corban McGregor will lead out Cronulla-Caringbah (one of three new teams) in their first match against Berkeley Vale Panthers today.
NSWRL Performance and Programs Manager Jamie Feeney is excited about the latest pathway and believes it will create a greater chance for women in Rugby League.
"It's fantastic for the women in our game to have the same opportunity as our males always have," Feeney said.
"To be able to start playing as a young girl and have the opportunity to follow a pathway through to represent NSW and the Jillaroos is great for Women's Rugby League."