Group 21 welcomes the return of CRL Women’s Nines

AFTER the success of inaugural competitions throughout regional NSW last season, the CRL Women’s Nines will return in Group 21, the Illawarra, Central Hunter and Hastings League in 2017.

With almost 50 per cent of all nationally-registered female players now participating in CRL tackle or tag tournaments, and more than 500 taking part in CRL Nines competitions throughout 2016, the concept is expected to expand even further.

“At Tuesday night’s management committee meeting, it was voted that the Women’s Nines will start on Friday, November 3,” Group 21 secretary Jane Walmsley said.

“It will be on Friday nights over a six-week period, involving clubs from Aberdeen, Denman, Merriwa, Murrurundi, Muswellbrook and Singleton.

“Each team will play one game per night consisting of nine players per side played in 2 x 15-minute halves (unlimited interchange).

“So far, only one under-18 outfit has been nominated.

“But, you have up to 2pm on Wednesday, September 27, to nominate.

“Thank you to the referees who are making themselves available for this competition.”

With the increasing popularity of rugby league among women in all forms of the game, the CRL Nines are a great opportunity for current, returning or new players to try an alternative version of the game.

The Nines see teams play short, fast-paced matches on a full-sized field with multiple games played over a six-week period.

Country Rugby League (CRL) female participation officer Kylie Hilder believes the announcement of new and returning competitions is testament to the continued growth of women’s rugby league across regional NSW.

“The Nines were a fantastic success last season and it’s great to see new and returning regions expressing interest in hosting competitions in 2017,” she said.

“The Nines are all about having fun and getting an opportunity to play, or try, tackle rugby league with your friends in a fun environment.

“In recent times we’ve seen the addition of league tag in the Country Championships, the introduction of the CRL Women’s Nines and also the first Country Women’s team selected to take on City.

“It’s a great time for females in rugby league with the amount of opportunities beginning to present themselves.”

The six- week competitions kick-off with a Come and Try skills session, followed by five weeks of games.

Participants are able to try contact rugby league in shorter matches, with a pathway to further representative competitions planned for the future.