This week I will come together with another 21 contracted players to start what will be an incredible journey, proudly representing the St George Illawarra Dragons in the inaugural 2018 NRL Women's Premiership to be played during the NRL finals series.
The Dragons are one of four teams to be awarded a licence to compete in this elite competition, joining the Brisbane Broncos, New Zealand Warriors and Sydney Roosters. The competition will see the best players from Australia and New Zealand come together to compete for the title of inaugural NRL Women's Premiers, showcasing the quality of the women's game and setting a platform for the future.
I am so excited to be able to represent the Dragons at the elite level, which completes my own personal pathway in rugby league. I first started playing with the Bega Roosters as a child before moving north to play with the Helensburgh Tiger Lilies in the Illawarra Women's competition.
My rugby league journey has allowed me to represent New South Wales and the Australia Jillaroos. To now be able to wear the famous Red V jersey in the first ever NRL women's competition is such a great honour.
One of the key reasons the Dragons were awarded a licence to compete in the inaugural competition is our established pathways for women, with over 14,000 female players competing across all forms of the game within the Dragons region.
As a development club, the Dragons have a commitment to provide opportunities for local players to represent at the highest levels of the game, both male and female. This is evidenced by the number of local players that have been selected in our NRL playing squad, joining players from across Australia and New Zealand, many who have already represented at the highest level.
The Dragons are committed to a 'One Club' approach to the development of our elite women's team, providing complete integration with the existing and successful men's programs. Every area of the club is committed to ensuring that our team and the new competition is a success, which we hope will be a source of pride and inspiration for women and men across our region that play or support rugby league.
I know first-hand how passionate Dragons fans and Red V members are, because I’m one of them! As we start out on this exciting journey I would like to invite you to join us and become part of our team by becoming an NRL women's foundation member in 2018.
As a foundation women's member you will be directly contributing to the continued development of the women’s pathways across the St George Illawarra region, and showing your support for our team as we proudly represent this great club. Foundation members will also receive a ticket to attend our inaugural Sydney-based game, a limited edition pin, exclusive foundation certificate and a range of other benefits in return for your support.
I hope you will join our team on this exciting journey, and I look forward to seeing you at our games in September.
Go the Dragons!
Helensburgh Tiger Lilies
St George Illawarra Dragons