Greenberg refuses to rush forward on women’s comp

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    The NRL won’t be rushed into setting up a women’s national competition to rival the AFL, insists chief executive Todd Greenberg.

    Greenberg said the NRL is instead focused on investing on laying the foundation for women’s rugby league in Australia at the grassroots level before moving onto a national league.

    “Most people will go straight to mirroring the NRL’s competition and that’s not something we’re looking at at the moment,” Greenberg said at the Women in League round launch on Monday.

    “What we are looking at is both state competitions and understanding how we can build from the grassroots all the way up.

    “I don’t want to put an elite competition at the very top without having substance at the bottom.

    “We need to make sure we’ve got equality of players, but also a quantity of players for a grassroots level. We’re doing that methodically.”

    Greenberg said it was vital the governing body include key stakeholders in discussions to set up a country-wide competition, and that he wasn’t concerned about being behind rival codes.

    Soccer’s W-League is heading into its 10th season, the women’s Twenty20 cricket league (WBBL) is entering its third summer, while the AFL had great success with its AFLW season this year.

    “It doesn’t worry me because we’re a different sport and we have different challenges. We’ve been playing interstate rugby league and Jillaroos for a long time,” he said.

    His comments come after the AFL endured a scandalous week involving the resignations of two senior executives over inappropriate relationships in the industry.

    Greenberg is confident the NRL has no such problem in its ranks.

    “They did have some challenges. Whilst I don’t know the details of that specifically, what I can say is that I think there’s a very strong culture inside rugby league,” he said.

    “And I’m not talking just inside the NRL. I’m talking about inside all our clubs about genuine respect for women and the role they play.”

    Greenberg also confirmed the game was looking at strengthening its policies on players who commit domestic violence against women, including the possibility of life bans.

    “It hasn’t been back to the commission for a final approval, but it has been in development,” he said.

    © AAP 2017

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