Every region across NSW will be represented when the state’s premier schoolgirl Rugby League competition, the Katrina Fanning Cup, kicks off in Western Sydney tomorrow (Thursday 19 September) under the control of an all-female team of 40 officials for the first time.
The state-wide knockout competition, formerly known as the (NSW) Female State Finals Day, will feature 32 teams and 480 teenage girls from eight primary schools and 20 high schools in a round robin format at St Marys Leagues Stadium and The Kingsway Fields.
The event, in its third year, is jointly run by the NSWRL and NRL, and will culminate in finals in the afternoon for all age groups including 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s. All the action will be live streamed on nswrl.com.au and nrl.com.au
“Women’s Rugby League continues to grow from strength to strength, not only in terms of the numbers of girls and women playing the game, but the standard of the competition also continues to rise thanks to the introduction of new programs such as (non-tackle) Monarch Blues Tag and an improved high-performance Pathways Program,” said NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden.
“The Katrina Fanning Cup is an important part of the pathway for girls in NSW, providing yet another stepping stone in the journey from grass-roots competitions to the (under-18 girls) Tarsha Gale Cup, the state’s elite women’s competition, the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership … and ultimately to play women’s State of Origin football (for under-18 and open women).”
The competition was rebranded in 2019 to the Katrina Fanning Cup to acknowledge the contribution of the former NSW and Country NSW captain, and Australian representative, who played in the inaugural Jillaroos Test in 1995.
NRL NSW Female Participation Co-ordinator Kate Parkinson said the tournament allowed the girls taking part an opportunity to showcase their skills on a big stage.
“Game Development Officers across the state have conducted localised events that have seen more than 5000 girls compete in the state-wide knockout competition and now we’re down to the final 32 teams,” Parkinson said.
“Women’s Rugby League is growing at an exponential rate and that’s been reflected in the interest shown by all the schools who want to be part of the Katrina Fanning Cup. The competition continues to grow with every region represented for the first time in 2019.
“It’s also just as exciting to see that we will have an all-female team of officials from across the state who will be refereeing on the day.
“The skill level in all age groups continues to improve with female pathways clearly defined through the CRL, NSWRL and the NRL. This event allows us to showcase some of the best talent in the state who are pursuing their dream to play Rugby League at the highest level.”
The opening pool game will kick off at St Marys Leagues Stadium and The Kingsway Fields at 9am with all finals to be played at St Marys from 4.30pm.
The 2019 Katrina Fanning Cup will be live streamed on nswrl.com.au and nrl.com.au from 9am to 6.30pm.
Schedule and locations as follows:
The Kingsway Fields
9am-2pm – Pool games (12s and 14s)
2.25 and 2.50pm Semi-finals (12s and 14s)
St Marys Stadium
9am-2pm – Pool games (16s and 18s)
2.25 and 2.50pm Semi-finals (16s and 18s)
4.30-6pm Finals – all age groups
4.30pm 12s FINAL and presentation
5.00pm 14s FINAL and presentation
5.30pm 16s FINAL and presentation
6.00pm 18s FINAL and presentation