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Women’s Game Set to Expand in Riverina

Women’s Rugby League tackle competitions could be introduced in the Riverina for the first time next season following the recent success of the Riverina Bulls representative team in the Women’s Country Championships.

Riverina are set to compete in the Country Championships in February/March 2021 after they took out the premiership in its maiden 2019 year, with 2019 Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Under-18s fullback Tess Staines playing a starring role.

The Country Championships create an important pathway for regional players and the introduction of more local competitions ensure further opportunities for female players in the Riverina area to develop their game.

“We are pushing the clubs to have Group 9, Group 20 and the Proten Cup women’s tackle competitions,” NSWRL Great Western and Southern Zone manager David Skinner told the Tumut and Adelong times.

“With their support – basically we will send out an expression of interest early in the new year, asking to see what their intentions are and what teams we can field.

“There will be regional, state and national competitions to progress to, similar to what we have in place for the men.”

A six-week end of season competition will be played this year after the grand final weekend, followed by the introduction of Under 17s and 19s women’s tackle competitions that will run in tandem with first grade, reserve grade, league tag and other age groups in 2022.

“In that May, June and July period, when there is country rugby representative football, there will be opportunities for girls who do well in the pre-season competitions,” Skinner said.

“The intention is then to follow on from Albury’s successful women’s tackle carnival, which is a nine-a-side event in the first weekend in October 2021, then we see what the appetite is at the start of the following season and go from there.”