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Friday, June 22, 2018

Women's rugby league has finally been granted State of Origin

After 19 years of contests labelled as Interstate Challenges, women's rugby league has finally been granted State of Origin status.
Teams representing Queensland and New South Wales first played each other back in 1999, but when they meet again in Sydney tonight, it will finally be under the State of Origin banner.
It is a huge boost for the women's game, and will serve as the prelude to the launch of the Women's NRL later in the year.
Long-time New South Wales captain Ruan Sims has fought long and hard for equal recognition with the men, and what she says will be a landmark for her sport.
"It's so exciting and I know all of the girls that have played in the past, and the current players, they all play the game like it's Origin and it always has been Origin for us," Sims said.
In Origin-loving PNG Kuk expects more and more rugby league fans to jump on board with the women's game.
"After playing in the World Cup for the PNG Orchids, more of them know who I am now and they'll have more of a reason to tune in to State of Origin and have a look," she said.
"They're becoming more aware of the women's game, and women's rugby in general over there in PNG."
For this year at least, the Women's State of Origin will be a one-off contest, with New South Wales perhaps the marginal favourites after winning the Interstate Challenge for the last two years, but only after Queensland dominated for the first 17 years, going undefeated from 1999 to 2015.