The Ampol Women’s State of Origin will be held on the Sunshine Coast for the second year in a row.
Set to go ahead on Friday June 25, the women’s match will be the beginning of a ripping weekend of football culminating on Sunday night with Game Two of the men’s State of Origin at Suncorp Stadium.
The fourth Women’s State of Origin is set to be a historic encounter, and for the first time both teams will be coached by a woman. Tahnee Norris is taking over the top job for Queensland while Kylie Hilder was been named as head coach of New South Wales in February of this year.
With preparations for the match underway, Norris has named a 32-player squad for the Maroons that will be cut down to 18 players in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Hilder will be using the NSW City-Country game to assist with squad selection.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo was hopeful at the prospect of more fans being able to attend the match this year.
“Women’s Origin is one of the highlights of our calendar and we’re excited to see it return to the Sunshine Coast,” Abdo said.
“Last year’s game was an incredible success, albeit with COVID restrictions. We’re looking forward to giving the Sunshine Coast community the opportunity to fill Sunshine Coast Stadium this year.
“Women’s rugby league is the fastest-growing part of our game and this year we will create history with two female coaches, that’s a great acknowledgement of the talent in our female ranks.”
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With the potential for 12,000 fans to attend the game, it will act as a great boost for the local economy.
Sunshine Coast Councillor Peter Cox encouraged fans to take the opportunity to make a weekend of the event, promoting the Super Netball match the following day.
“The Sunshine Coast was thrilled to host the first Women’s State of Origin match played in Queensland last year and after the Maroons’ thrilling win in that match we’re confident of another sell-out crowd,” Cr. Cox said.
“We anticipate that this event will be a drawcard for footy supporters from around Queensland and interstate, which would provide a significant boost for the local economy, from the airport to accommodation, and flow on hospitality and attraction visitation.
“From coastline accommodation to beautiful bushland hideaways in our hinterland, I encourage footy fans from everywhere to plan a weekend getaway to experience real culture, real people, real nature and our really beautiful winter weather.
“We also want the Sunshine Coast to be the epicentre of elite women’s sport and it’s terrific that we’ll be able to showcase the Women’s State of Origin clash on the Friday night and our incredibly successful Sunshine Coast Lightning netball team who play the Magpies at home the following day.”
The success of the Women’s State of Origin over past few years is a further indicator that women’s rugby league is moving in the right direction, and the match selling out will increase interest ahead of the NRLW Premiership Season and the Women’s Rugby League World Cup later this year.
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