New women’s competition for Hastings League

Hit it up: Annette Brander of the Australian Jillaroos is tackled during the 2016 Auckland Nines match between Australia and New Zealand at Eden Park. Photo: Getty ImagesHASTINGS League president Corey Richardson is excited about the prospect of a new women’s nine-a-side competition.
Nanjing Night Net

The competition will run every Friday night throughout the 2017 season at Lank Bain Sporting Complex for six weeks at a time.

Richardson said it would provide another outlet for female participation in rugby league –and that could only be seen as a positive.

“Nines seems to be the buzz at the moment and we’re really excited about it,” he said.

“It gives you a whole new supporter base to choose from and any time we can get more women involved in rugby league it can only be a good thing.”

The women’s nines concept was thrown around as a possible idea several years ago, but it eventually fell over due to a lack of support.

“We then tried to get a mixed tag side going for those blokes that couldn’t play every week, but a lot of the clubs weren’t keen,” Richardson said.

“So then we thought it was time to give the women’s nines another go.”

Richardson said the new concept was a Hastings League initiativeand would be run separately to the Group 3 ladies league tag.

“Hopefully we can get every clubinvolved so some time down the track we can have the girls playing as curtain raisers to the Hastings League matches,” he said.

More than 100 players have shown their interest on Facebook and Richardson was confident the competition would have the necessary numbers.

“Even if we only get half of them signing up, it will still be enough for four teams,” he said.

“The interest has been overwhelming, we certainly didn’t expect it.”

The competition is expected start at the end of April.

A sign-on day will be held at the Hastings Hotel on Saturday (February 4) from 2pm until 4pm.

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