Group 19 rugby league: Women's 9s to be introduced for the entirety of the 2021 season

The Glen Innes Magpies women have won the post-season Group 19 9s two years in-a-row. Photo: Brenton Hodge.
The Glen Innes Magpies women have won the post-season Group 19 9s two years in-a-row. Photo: Brenton Hodge.

Women's tackle rugby league is set to become a regular fixture in the region with Group 19 introducing it to their competition from 2021.

At their Annual General Meeting on Sunday, the Group announced they would be introducing the format to play alongside league tag, the also upgraded under 19s and senior men's competitions.

The Group has previously run short-term tournaments post-season for women's tackle but this is the first time it has been run as a round-to-round competition.

Group 19 chairman Terry Carson said they needed to accommodate the growing interest for contact rugby league for women.

"There's been a coming from a bit above us, from NSWRL, about introducing tackle comps instead of league tag comps and we thought we would be better off to try and run it in conjunction for a couple of years," he said.

"We thought in the interim we would start as a 9s competition for a couple of years and then look to expand it to 13-a-side eventually.

"You can play both so a lot of the girls that are playing tackle will probably end up playing league tag as well."

The under 18s competition has also been altered to be under 19s which fits in with the new junior rugby league age groups.

Senior rugby league game days will now see league tag matches followed by under 19s, women's 9s before senior men's.

Carson said the clubs were generally in support of the changes.

"All the clubs there on Sunday were pretty supportive of it, a few concerns were raised, mainly around insurance costs and things like that," he said.

"That is ultimately something the clubs will have to decide; whether they want to fill a side or not.

"I don't expect every club will run a team but I think majority of the clubs will."

Also at the meeting, Carson was presented life membership to Group 19.

He was grateful but "very surprised" by the gesture.

This story Women's tackle rugby league feature in Group 19 from 2021 first appeared on Glen Innes Examiner.