Australia's 'brightest talents' coming to Moreton Bay Region

Published 1:23pm 11 May 2021

Australia's 'brightest talents' coming to Moreton Bay Region
Words by Nick Crockford

The Women’s National Rugby League Championships are coming to Redcliffe next week, with 500 players and officials expected to pump $700,000 into the region’s economy.

Sponsored by Harvey Norman, the four-day tournament (May 20-23) will see 14 teams fielding 300 of Australia’s “brightest talents” at Moreton Daily Stadium.

Open Women and Under 19 teams will come from the Northern Territory, South Australia, West Australia, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

For the first time an Indigenous Invitational side will take part – the First Nations Gems.

Free entry, clinic

All teams will stay in the Redcliffe and North Lakes area, entry to the tournament is free and the NRL will hold a free clinic, supported by the Dolphins and Moreton Bay Regional Council, for girls aged 8-12 on the final day.

“These four days are more important to rugby league and the NRLW than ever before,” said NRL General Manager – Player Pathways and Jillaroos Coach Brad Donald.

“We’re on the cusp of expansions and there are potentially two or three more teams which will be starting preseason (training) in six or seven weeks.

“That means we need more players for those teams and it could be anywhere from 80-100 players who have not played NRLW before.

Australia's 'brightest talents' coming to Moreton Bay Region
Bronco and Jillaroo Julia Robinson, Mayor Peter Flannery and NRL General Manager – Player Pathways and Jillaroos Coach Brad Donald at Moreton Daily Stadium today

Brad's guarantee

“This competition will see 300 of the brightest talents that could get a tap on the shoulder, get signed to an NRLW club and play in the NRLW in no time.

“I guarantee we’ll see girls running around here who will bounce into the NRLW in just a matter of weeks.”

Julia Robinson is a perfect illustration. She burst onto the scene in 2018 going from netball to the inaugural Broncos’ team and then the Australian Jillaroos in the same year!

“I’d played netball all my life but joined the Defence Force (ADF) which was looking for (rugby league) players,” Robertson says.

Stunning start

With her first touch in her first league match, playing for the ADF at the 2018 National Championships, Robinson raced 80m down the touchline to score.

“Looking back, I do think ‘how did that happen’?” she says, “but footy is growing and this is a great opportunity.

“This is where you can get seen. You never know who is watching, you never know what will happen. Give it crack.”

Australia's 'brightest talents' coming to Moreton Bay Region
Bronco and Jillaroo Julia Robinson, Mayor Peter Flannery and NRL General Manager – Player Pathways and Jillaroos Coach Brad Donald at Moreton Daily Stadium today

Local boost

Moreton Bay Regional Council worked with the NRL to bring the talent identification tournament to Moreton Daily Stadium.

“Home to the mighty Dolphins, more than 5500 local players and 14 junior clubs, Moreton Bay Region is one of Australia’s great rugby league heartlands and the perfect place to host the championships,” Mayor Peter Flannery says.

“Locals can cheer on their Origin heroes while local businesses will benefit from more than $700,000 expected to flow into the local economy. We hope to attract more major events to the region in the future.”

Pool Matches will take place on Thursday to Saturday May 20-22 at Moreton Daily Stadium, with the finals on Sunday, May 23.

Magic tickets offer

It’s also the Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium with all 16 NRL teams playing in Brisbane over three days.

You could be there on Friday thanks to the NRL’s two-for-one Magic ticket offer, which is capped at 100 tickets. Password to enter is MORETONBAY

For tickets visit: https://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=MAGICFRI21

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