Greenberg refuses to rush forward on women’s comp

By Matt Encarnacion, Matt Encarnacion is a Roar Guru

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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 2018

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • July 17th 2017 @ 10:26pm
      Justin Kearney said | July 17th 2017 @ 10:26pm | ! Report

      If there is one thing greenberg is good at its announcing what isnt going to happen.

    • July 18th 2017 @ 4:37am
      Oto shark said | July 18th 2017 @ 4:37am | ! Report

      As soon as there is a women’s comp, there will be more girls wanting to play as they have a goal to play at a high level and parents will also support them more as they know there is something to aim for, especially when the women at top level start getting good money . that will automatically give grassroots a good push forward.

    • July 18th 2017 @ 7:38am
      Crosscoder said | July 18th 2017 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      I’m all for a women’s National competition,but not one that is rushed.There needs to be a solid base of players to underpin any national competition,and that means other non heartland states.
      Female participation is the fastest growing area of rugby leagues,thus build the base and you finish with the numbers and the selective player quality.Girls currently are wanting to play.

      The code already has a females Sydney compound the National team the Jillaroos ,who are hardly newcomers.

      • July 19th 2017 @ 3:35pm
        Big Daddy said | July 19th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

        Agree entirely.
        We don’t need a nationally televised comp – we just need a comp where ladies can compete.
        It can’t be that hard.
        I think the AFL marketing people got a jump on league just by the fact they had the iniative to start one.
        We need to be more proactive not reactive.

    • Roar Rookie

      July 18th 2017 @ 9:59am
      At work said | July 18th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

      Laying the foundations in grassroots is code for we can’t afford to fund a top division because the men are squeezing the league to top up their already hyper inflated salaries (over the last decade).

    • July 18th 2017 @ 4:06pm
      KiwiBear said | July 18th 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

      Excuses are all we ever hear from NRL HQ !
      Standing still is a great way to get left behind!

    • July 18th 2017 @ 8:15pm
      Norad said | July 18th 2017 @ 8:15pm | ! Report

      How’s the AFL womens Australian team going? Jillaroos been around for a long time. But there’s no story told here by media as AFL don’t have international so any comparison between codes just ignores that league is ahead of AFL.

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