NZ Māori Women's Rugby League team are welcoming the 2018 Women's NRL competition expected to roll out for the first time this year. NZ Māori Women’s Coach Victor Heke says he believes the Māori women’s side have the quality for the new elite competition.
Victor Heke believes his side possess what could be New Zealand's first professional female NRL athletes.
Heke says “It's six teams, they are looking at 120 players straight off. Well I believe that these girls fit into this category quite easily.”
This week the women’s side prepare for their first ever offshore-match in Sydney against an Australian indigenous side. What they hope will give them a chance to expose their talents in front of potential NRL scouts.
NZ Māori Womens coach Jocephy Daniels says “There's a lot of talent here that obviously they haven't seen before and hopefully with this game coming up they'll see it, they'll gain more opportunities and hopefully we can show the whole world what we have.”
“It's never happened before for our ladies so I mean we're sort of laying the platform I guess for the future of the women's game,” says Heke.
“In regards to future of the women's game, well the opportunities are going to be there for them.”
Details of the round-robin tournament have yet to be confirmed however it is expected one New Zealand side will be included in the six club tournament. Heke believes the potential opportunities for female rugby league players in New Zealand will be endless.
“It's really exciting, to think that if it can continue then our Māori wahine will be having this exposure all the time. There's always a pathway and a platform for them to reach higher heights.”
The six NRL clubs have yet to be confirmed. Applications for club licenses have now been extended until Feb 16.