Rugby Victoria has today revealed the addition of a new competition for youth girls in 2023.
Designed to forge a pathway between mixed youth competitions and the Lindroth Cup, the newly established competition for u/15s and u/18s ensures girls now have an avenue to continue playing rugby in their teenage years.
“The team at Rugby Vic are so excited for the start of this competition,” said Rugby Victoria Development Officer Meretiana Robinson.
“It is important that we are providing every opportunity for girls in Victoria to get involved in the game, and maybe one day that can be on the world stage at home in the 2029 World Cup or 2032 Olympics.”
“I'm really proud of the fact that from next year onwards, any young girl who is wanting to play rugby in Melbourne will always be told yes.
“There will be no more no’s and there is a competition, a team and a home for them to play and be a part of something more. Whether that is in the North, South, East or West, they will be supported in their rugby journey.”
The contribution of women’s rugby pioneer Silei Etuale has been recognised with the new competition set to be named in her honour; the Silei Etuale Cup (u/18s) and the Silei Etuale Shield (u/16s).
“To be named after something that will have such a positive impact on young women is such a huge honour,” stated Etuale.
“Until now, there has been such a huge gap between the u/12s and the women’s game, which has meant we have lost so many players over the years.
“Closing that gap means clubs can now offer opportunities to young girls that just never existed before.”
For Etuale, the introduction of more competitions for girls means talented young athletes won’t be lost to the sport forever.
“Because we compete against so many different codes, having a platform for girls to play in those age group is huge.
“We have lost so many young girls to other sports over the years. To have competitions for teenage girls opens up our sport to so many new players.
“If we can carry these girls through to our senior competition it will only strengthen the foundation of women’s rugby.”
A proposal to base the inaugural four teams out of north, south, east and west Melbourne is strategically designed to ensure access to as many girls as possible, with the first season slated to involve ten rounds of competition.
Rugby Victoria is now calling for expressions of interest from players, coaches and managers.
Coaches/Managers - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BKGRZ8D
Players - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BKVNKSD