Victoria to field Inaugural State Girls Team
by Tate Spiteri
Rugby League in Victoria has been given another huge boost with the state set to send a Girls Team to the CAS Championships for the first ever time.
The Girls team will compete in the newly created U16 Girls division at the CAS Championships in Adelaide in June.
Pathways & Coaching Manager, Ryan Walker named the 32-girl squad on Wednesday with Ben Jack named as the inaugural coach. The squad was selected after 5 training sessions and the first Girls Tackle Gala Day played last Saturday as part of NRL Victoria’s Junior Gala Days.
“We have eight weeks to prepare for the competition so I’m really looking forward to coaching an eager group of young athletes” Jack said.
The squad will begin training on Monday 1st May in preparation for the Championships.
Walker described the formation of the Girls state team as a landmark moment for the states girls pathways program.
“Out of the 32 girls in the squad, 11 of them are only 14 or 15, so the fact that they will get a good few years within the program is extremely pleasing” he said.
Victoria has been able to form the squad on the back of the success of multiple school Gala Days where girls were exposed to and given the chance to play Rugby League.
The squad includes 20 girls who were brought towards the game on the back of the school Rugby League initiatives. A further 12 members of the squad also come from the NRL Victoria tag competition.
NRL Victoria have placed huge importance on their female pathways system and will have Pathways & Coaching Manager Ryan Walker travel to the Gold Coast this weekend to attend a female player coaching conference.
The conference will be heavily linked with The Australian Jillaroos and will focus on the coaching methodology of women and girls in Rugby League including factors such as strength and conditioning, leadership, inclusiveness and style of play.
Women’s Rugby League is currently the fastest growing sector of Rugby League with over 180,000 girls playing Rugby League across Australia so Victoria’s involvement in making the Jillaroos a truly Australian-wide team is paramount.
The U16 Girls competition will run alongside the Men’s, Women’s and U18 Schoolboys Combined Affiliated States Championships in Adelaide between the 22nd and 25th of June.