Last weekend, the Corrimal Cougars opens team took the title in the Illawarra Inspirations Paint Women’s competition, but that’s just the icing on the cake for them.

The girls will be heading to Canada in October to play a World Cup preparation match against the Canadian women’s team, who’ve had four matches fall through making them yet to play a full fixture.

This match is a huge step for Illawarra rugby league, as well as women in League. The international match is already gaining a lot of attention, and will draw even more to local women’s rugby league competitions.

It’s these small competitions that have produced players such as Kezie Apps and Sam Bremner, who then go on to be representative stars for their state and country. The Illawarra is a classic example itself, even in the men’s game. Players from the area are now playing right through the NRL and are even superstars at state and national level. The women’s game is proving to be already doing the exact same

We need to nurture these comps, because the success of them in the men’s game just proves how crucial of a part of the game they are. With the same funding, attention and resources, these smaller comps such as the Illawarra, can become as big and successful as comps such as Sydney and Canberra.

Being a player in the Illawarra comp, I’ve played against these girl several times. They’re determined, talented and great girls who are doing such a great job in building women in country rugby League. Hopefully this will just build it even more.