Getting to participate in the Prime Ministers Xlll under card is a huge win for women’s rugby league, but it’s an even bigger win for Papua New Guinea, the rugby league loving country who’s finally gotten a representative women’s rugby league team.
While women’s rugby league has been played in Papua New Guinea since the 1970s, it wasn’t verified by the current PNGRLF board until 2014. Now, there is over 22 women’s competitions with over 6000 players in under 6s to under 12s, as well as under 14s, under 16s, under 18s and Opens.
It’s a big step for women’s rugby league as a whole, but also for opening up the global scale of women’s league. With the World Cup this year, it’s a positive sign for the coming years and competitions they bring. World cups and international competitions are some of the most competitive and loved rugby league games, so the build up of the women’s version is a movement in such a positive direction.
The challenge will take place on the 23rd of September before the men’s game. While it’s too late to be used as a selection for the World Cup teams, it acts as almost an opener. The women’s World Cup has six teams participating this year; Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Australia, New Zealand, England and Canada, so the introduction of new teams is a solid aspect of this years competition. With 14 teams in the men’s competition, its may seem small but is very significant with the size differences between the two.
Some of our best NRL players, including David Mead and Nene McDonald have played for the men’s team, the Kumuls, so it’s expected that the female team, the Raggianas, will do just as well.
– The League Lady