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Female participants flocking to play game in NSW

The NSWRL is confident that female participation across the state will crash through the 23,000 mark as the game moves this week to celebrate the part all women play in Rugby League with the Harvey Norman Women in League Round.

The NSWRL recently announced female participation had hit record numbers this season after 22,810 signed up to play all forms of the game including tackle and Monarch Blues Tag compared to 18,915 in 2019, which was the last season where numbers were not impacted by COVID-19.

Having already registered a 20 per cent increase, the NSWRL is confident this number will increase again when spring competitions start up across the state next month, pending advice from the NSW Government and any COVID-19 restrictions.

“Women’s Rugby League is one of the fastest growth areas of our sport and it’s great to see so many female participants playing our great game as we acknowledge their wonderful contribution with Women in League Round,” NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said.

“Regardless of whether it’s a town of 200 or 200,000, we are seeing more and more women wanting to play Rugby League which can only benefit our game in the future. It’s also pleasing to see our players spread across heartland areas in both metropolitan Sydney and Regional NSW.

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank the countless women who make our game go around every week; whether they be participants, coaches, officials, volunteers or Mums on the sideline. The game has been, and will always be, better off for your involvement.”

The NSWRL also runs the state’s premier women’s competition, the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership, and provides another valuable pathway with the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup for Under 19s participants.

These competitions flow into NSWRL representative fixtures including the Harvey Norman City v Country match, the Harvey Norman NSW Under 19s Women’s Origin team, and the Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues.

Crunching the Numbers: where women are flocking to play Rugby League 
Balmain JRL – from 156 participants in 2019 to 288 in 2021 (85% growth)
Central Coast JRL – from 434 participants in 2019 to 849 in 2021 (96% growth)
Cronulla-Sutherland JRL – from 1018 in 2019 to 1632 in 2021 (60% growth)
Group 3 Rugby League (Juniors) – from 443 in 2019 to 528 in 2021 (19% growth)
Group 9 JRL – from 1056 in 2019 to 1202 in 2021 (14% growth)
Group 10 Juniors – from 359 in 2019 to 581 in 2021 (62% growth)
Group 14 Rugby League – from 56 in 2019 to 114 in 2021 (104% growth)
Group 18 JRL – from 78 in 2019 to 208 in 2021 (167% growth)
Illawarra DRL – from 1170 in 2019 to 1406 in 2021 (20% growth) 
Manly JRL – from 201 in 2019 to 350 in 2021 (74% growth)
North Sydney JRL – from 115 in 2019 to 388 in 2021 (237% growth)
St George JRL – from 84 in 2019 to 223 in 2021 (165% growth)
Sydney Roosters JRL – from 23 in 2019 to 82 in 2021 (257% growth)
South Coast Group 7 RL – from 960 in 2019 to 1324 in 2021 (38% growth)
Western Suburbs JRL – from 349 in 2019 to 560 in 2021 (60% growth)