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Women’s Rugby brings new meaning to Central West

By Vittorio Travan

Women’s rugby is no longer an after-thought for 2018, after an overwhelming start to the season with the new 11 team competition offering a completely different product for Central West female sport.

After a strong effort to establish a women’s competition last season, this year the women are competing for the WestFund  Ferguson Cup, that has revamped and re-energized women’s rugby in the region.

After years of independent draws, no centralised structure to their games, Central West Rugby has implemented a new scheme has refined women’s rugby and melded the draws of both the men’s and women’s competitions together.

Central West Rugby CEO Matt Tink says the move is a great idea and hopes it’s positive intent can help get more women excited about the code and playing the game.

“There is a real welcoming of women’s sides as an integral part of rugby clubs and the girl’s will be an actual showpiece event during the season,” Mr. Tink said.

The restructure of the women’s competition will see both women’s and men’s sides play together more often at the same ground, in a move that will bring teams and clubs closer together. Mr Tink says this year there is real push to generate bigger crowds and add to the real excitement around women’s rugby. He says the smart clubs are really embracing this shakeup that will serve to benefit the whole rugby community.

Cootamundra Rugby Club vs. Temora Rugby Union Club in the first ever match in the WestFund Ferguson Cup

With some games during the season to be played after first grade under lights, there is a real effort to re-imagine what women’s rugby is all about in the region. The smart clubs, Mr Tink says, will get on board and make them apart of the speeches and make sure they are playing in front of big crowds each and every week.

Amanda Ferguson an Orange Emus player and life long supporter of Central West Rugby says the expanded season and the opportunity it gives to female players is unbelievable.

“I’m just excited that there is an opportunity for girls to go out and play, and if they get the opportunity to represent the country region that is awesome,” Mrs. Ferguson said.

“At the end of the day win, lose or draw, we are out their playing rugby and having fun. That’s what it is all about, building friendships within our teams but also within the other teams in the zone,” she said.

She says, the 15 round season will help build the opportunity for girls to develop their skill, playing against continuous opposition teams. Mrs. Ferguson said, the chance to grow the game and play a full season is an important step to allow players more opportunity to be recognized for representative honors and will allow the female code to expand its reach within the zone.

With the WestFund Amanda Ferguson competition expanding from last season, Mrs. Ferguson says she is excited to grow the female rugby community.

“Yes you go out there to play hard, as any team does. But once you get off the field you are best mates, and that’s what I am really excited to see grow within the new looking competition,” she said.

Mr. Tink said, clubs are embracing the new direction and era of rugby in the region and says it is part of a strategic plan to re-imagine what central west rugby is all about.

This is just the first step of a future dream that will hopefully see all 27 teams across the central west having women’s sides, which he says will provide a different and better quality sporting product for females in the zone.

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