As Round 1 of Queensland Premier Rugby resumes it will be the first time that the Women’s competition will see all nine Premier clubs field teams.
Joining the competition this year will be newly founded teams Easts and Bond University, who have both recruited a number of St.George Queensland Reds Super W players to help bolster their ranks.
Reds lock Kiri Lingman has made the move to Easts, and is looking forward to the new challenge.
“I’m massively excited, Easts have been big on supporting the Women’s team and getting it up off the ground,” said Lingman.
“We have old faces as well as new players so it will be great to get back on the field after all this time.
“It’s been the best news this year, to see the competition expanding, aligning teams to premier clubs. With changes in the women’s competition it’s going to be a solid competition all round.”
While new clubs have been introduced to the competition, some of the existing clubs have also looked to build upon their Women’s program.
Brothers have had great success with the Rohrig Elite Development Program, with players such as Josh Flook and Byron Ralston being recent graduates, and heading into 2020 they’ve introduced a Women’s program with the aim of fostering the next generation of Queensland and Wallaroos reps.
“With the launch of the Women’s Elite Development program we’re all focused on development so thank you so much to Rohrig and all of our other sponsors who have helped us to get where we are,” said Brothers captain Emilya Bryne.
“I definitely want to pursue my career in Rugby and push for Super W selection and make my family proud, but I’ve hoping that more girls will come through and enjoy Rugby like I have.”
Sunnybank have long been the dominant force in Women’s Rugby, winning five straight premierships, but with a change in coaching and players shifting between clubs, there is a level of excitement for everyone heading into the season as who will be the standout teams is still unknown.
“It’s fantastic to see the development of our game and the new players coming through to grow the grassroots game,” said Sunnybank stalwart Megan Orgill.
“It’s going to be interesting this year, but it will be exciting to see the spread of talent and go up against some old friends. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Orgill, a teacher by trade, can see the impact the growth of the Super W program has had on the next generation of players coming through the junior ranks.
“I’m seeing a lot of the young girls coming through and wanting to strive for Super W selection and have that as a goal,” she said.
“When I first came along I didn’t even know there was a women’s game, it’s great to see it evolve and see the interest, particularly at school, I have a a lot of students who are interested in reaching out to clubs like Sunnybank to get involved in the game.”
The Women’s competition will kick off around Brisbane today and the matches are as follows:
GPS v Wests – Yoku Road – 11:50am
Norths v University of Queensland – Hugh Courtney Oval – 11:50am
Sunnybank v Easts – Sunnybank Rugby Club – 1:40pm
Souths v Brothers – Chipsy Wood Oval - 5:30pm
With the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup due to kick off in New Zealand next year, it’s an exciting time for the Women’s XV game and the development of the club competition within Queensland Premier Rugby will no doubt build a clearer pathway for players to push for high honours.