Sport: Niue Rugby League to debut women‘s team

After reaching a rankings high in the men‘s game, Niue Rugby League is on course to debut a women‘s international team for the first time.

Women‘s rugby league will make its Pacific Games debut in Samoa next year, with a nines competition being held alongside the men‘s event.

The Niue men have risen to 24th in the world rankings after a runners up finish at the Emerging Nations World Cup.

Niue finished second at the Emerging Nations World Cup. Photo: Emerging Nations World Championship.

Coach Brendan Perenara said a group of players came together in Sydney recently where the genesis of a national women‘s team was formed.

“We just had a bit of a muster last week on Sunday just to see who was out there,” he said.

Niue Rugby League will makes its debut in the women‘s international arena in 2019. Photo: Niue Rugby League

“A few girls turned up on Sunday and it reminds me back of the days when we started in 2011 with the Niue men and it just all starts again.

“We‘ve just got to keep on going through data and seeing who‘s out there to play for Niue who can represent us.”

Brendan Perenara said only four players turned up to first muster but they have also fielded interest from further afield.

“We got a few calls from out of state and from New Zealand so they will have to fly in on Wednesday and then we train Thursday/Friday and play the tournament Saturday,” he said.

“We‘re trying to work with the Auckland Niue Rugby League over there but they‘re a lot busier on their calendar so we‘re probably going to have to take it on ourselves and then run a women‘s [team] from over here [in Sydney].

“And try and get women from the Auckland Niue Rugby League, we‘ve got a couple of chapters over here, Western Australia Niue Rugby League and we‘ve got Townsville Niue Rugby League and also Queensland Niue Rugby League.

Niue Rugby League Coach, Brendan Perenara Photo: Niue Rugby League

“So there‘s a lot of chapters around we can pluck from for talent for the Niue women‘s so I think it‘s looking good for the future.”

Brendan Perenara said Niue will enter both a men‘s and women‘s team at the Cabramatta International Nines in February, in what will serve as their build-up to the Pacific Games in July.

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