North Newcastle’s newly formed women’s squad will play part in two significant rugby league moments within the space of 24 hours.
The squad will have its first Sydney Women’s Metropolitan Rugby League game at home ground Passmore Oval on Saturday after star trio Bec Young, Caitlin Moran and Simone Smith helped Australia to a 16-4 Test win over New Zealand in Canberra on Friday.
“It is very special,” North Newcastle’s Margaret Watson said.
“The gentlemen who have come back and put in all the effort to re-establish the team have done a great job. And the men’s players have been great as well. We do team runs against them on Friday night and it’s a shift where the women’s team is an equal part of the club.”
Watson is one of seven North Newcastle players in the NSW Country squad.
The former Australian rugby union representative will be joined by Phoebe Desmond, Jerry Burgmann, Kylie Hilder, Donna Sutton, Amy Broadhead and Alicia Martin in a fixture against City at North Sydney next Sunday (May 14).
North Newcastle, who lost round one 50-12 to the Greenacre Tigers last weekend, tackle the Redfern All Blacks at Passmore Oval on Saturday (3pm).
Young, Moran and Smith aren’t likely to back up for North Newcastle but will play an important role throughout the 2017 campaign.
It is the first time North Newcastle, one of the Hunter region’s foundation clubs from 1910, have fielded a women’s team.
In recent seasons much of the squad played in the same state tackle competition under the Hunter Stars banner and prior to that with Maitland.
AAP reports: The Australian Jillaroos have avenged last year’s Test loss to the New Zealand Kiwi Ferns with a gritty 16-4 win in Canberra.
The Jillaroos continued their dominance of the Ferns from the Auckland Nines whitewash and turned the tables on last year’s 26-16 loss by winning a bruising Friday’s double header.
Home captain Ruan Sims was named best afield after leading her side’s pack through the middle in a tough encounter.