A new dawn is breaking for the country of origin of women. Two coaches are playing against each other for the first time, but those in charge of the game still believe that a three-game series is “a while away”.
The NRL has announced that this year’s women’s blockbuster will be played for the second year in a row at the Sunshine Coast Stadium on June 25 as Queensland seeks to maintain the shield for another year.
The Maroons celebrated their first victory under the women’s banner in their country of origin last year with an exciting 24:18 win over the Blues and have already started preparations for this year’s game.
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The expanded Queensland squad met for their first pre-camp training session last Monday night at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Center in Nathan, and new head coach Tahnee Norris was impressed.
Maroon’s captain Ali Brigginshaw said she would like to see the series become a best-of-three concept “at some point” but thought it unlikely while the players were still working full-time.
“Definitely at some point, but we girls still work full-time so it will be a while before we get into a more professional field,” said Brigginshaw. “There is a lot to ask – even to spend two weeks in camp, because that’s two weeks in which you have to do the work.
“We’re out of it, but it doesn’t mean we’ll give it our all when we get on this field, be it one, two or three games.”
Blues coach Kylie Hilder confirmed Brigginshaw’s comments, saying she was thrilled to see just one blockbuster in a game as the female game continued to grow.
“It is just more important to play this one game and we have a shot at it,” said Hilder. “Hopefully we’ll get a full stadium here.
“It’s an interesting concept, but until they are full-time athletes I only see it as a one-game series.
“I’m happy that we only have one game because we haven’t even got this game in the past few years. So we have to make sure that this one game is really good and a great spectacle from Footy.”
“The women’s rugby league is the fastest growing part of our game. This year we will make history with two coaches. This is a great recognition of the talent among our female ranks,” said Abdo.
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