Inaugural Nines season kicks-off for 34 teams in the Central Coast & Hunter competition

GROWING: The women's game is going from strength to strength, as more than 350 players register for the Central Coast & Hunter Nines competition. Picture: Grant Trouville
GROWING: The women's game is going from strength to strength, as more than 350 players register for the Central Coast & Hunter Nines competition. Picture: Grant Trouville

The Central Coast/Hunter Women’s Nines competition kicked-off last weekend, with 350 players taking the field in Berkeley Vale.

It’s a statement for the growth of the women’s game, as Country Rugby League introduces eight more six-week Women’s Nines competitions after the success of the inaugural leagues.

The Central Coast & Hunter area has expanded under the new competition plans, with four divisions (Under 14s, 16s, 18s and Open-Age) boasting 34 sides for the 2017/18 season.

Country Rugby League’s new competitions are based around the Nines variant, made popular in the Auckland series, where nine players compete in a shortened game format.

The growing popularity of the Nines format, and women’s competitions in particular, has been praised by Country Rugby League’s female participation officer Kylie Hilder, who believes that the initial 34 teams in the Central Coast & Hunter region is a great show of the strength of the female leagues.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the demand from Groups across Regional NSW to host CRL Women’s Nines competitions,” said Hilder. “To expand from just a couple of competitions last season to now having eight running is a great indication of the popularity.”

Players still looking to register for CRL Women’s Nines in the Central Coast & Hunter competition can contact khilder@crlnsw.com.au.