Albury Thunder to host inaugural women's Rugby League carnival

BORDER BLOCKER: Steve 'Blocker' Roach (left) and former NSW State of Origin captain Paul Gallen at training. Roach will visit Albury in October.

BORDER BLOCKER: Steve 'Blocker' Roach (left) and former NSW State of Origin captain Paul Gallen at training. Roach will visit Albury in October.

Albury Thunder will launch an ambitious women’s Rugby League carnival in October.

Officials are hoping to attract teams from as far away as the Gold Coast and Sydney for the nines competition.

“We’re hoping for 20 clubs and we think we’ll end up with an under 15s as well,” Thunder’s Mike Eden said.

It’s expected all matches will be played at Thunder’s Greenfield Park, but some matches could be moved to Sarvaas Park, if required.

Just like cricket and AFL at the elite level, Rugby League is growing, but Eden says the move isn’t designed at jumping on the bandwagon.

“The women involved in our club have seen the success of our disability team and we’re trying to be more inclusive, it’s more about going to the game in a family atmosphere,” he said.

“We want to get everyone included and be involved with our sport.”

Young committed a team when it played the Thunder on Sunday, with the outfits battling for $8000 in prizemoney.

“We’re basing it on the West Wyalong knockout, it’s an annual event and we’re hoping to do the same thing,” Eden said.

“We’ll start on the Friday night and then play over Saturday and Sunday as well.”

The Thunder is hoping to get some members of the Australian women’s team, the Jillaroos, to attend, but that will depend on their commitments ahead of the World Cup, which starts mid-November.

The club will also host a function on the Saturday night with former Australian great Steve ‘Blocker’ Roach.

“He was a character both on and off the field,” Eden said.

“He’d try and talk you off your game, he was a great sledger.

“He’s got a great sense of humour, he can tell some great stories and he’ll tell stories that young people will be able to relate to, as well as the older people like me.

“We just had retro round and he was a superstar of the 80s.”

Roach was one of the best, toughest and most skilful front-rowers.

The tournament starts on October six.