A women's rugby competition could be launched in the future

The Gloucester Cockies under 17s side hosted a gala day against teams from outside the area. It is hoped a local competition could commence in 2018.
The Gloucester Cockies under 17s side hosted a gala day against teams from outside the area. It is hoped a local competition could commence in 2018.

GLOUCESTER Rugby Union Club’s women’s side could be playing in a Lower North Coast competition in 2018.

Due to a lack of sides in the LNC area, Gloucester now plays in the Mid North Coast premiership. This includes two sides based in Coffs Harbour along with Port Macquarie, Wauchope and Hastings Valley.

”They are poster girls for women’s rugby in our area and hopefully seeing them around will encourage other women from the Taree, Old Bar, Forster, Nabiac and Myall Lakes to see their local clubs and get our own competition here in the southern zone,’’ Gloucester coach Matt Lansdowne told the Advocate before the White Ribbon day hosted by the club earlier this month.

“It’s all about having fun, making friends and enjoying the game so many guys take for granted.’’

Taree-based Manning River Ratz coach Jake Maurirere has confirmed his club will attempt to field a women’s team in 2018. He said the club will hold an information day next year to kick start the concept.

“At the moment Gloucester’s the only side with a (women’s) team,’’ Maurirere said.

“That means a lot of travel for them.

“It would be good if we could get a comp going around here. We’ll be doing our best to get a team and hopefully there’ll be others at Forster, Nabiac and Old Bar.’’

Maurirere said there’s a possibility Wauchope will return to the Lower North Coast competition next year. The Thunder currently has a side in the Mid North Coast women’s competition.

He said Gloucester women played at match at Taree Rugby Park when the Ratz hosted Gloucester earlier this month and this proved to be a success.

“The crowd really got into it, it was great,’’ he said.

While there has never been a women’s rugby competition played in this area, the code has a foothold in the school system. A side from Taree St Clare’s High School recently travelled to Sydney to compete against 12 finalist teams from throughout NSW.

The Taree team was beaten in the plate final.

Meanwhile, the Gloucester men’s side returned to the winner’s list when thrashing an understrength Myall Coast side 68-7 at Gloucester.

Gloucester tackles defending premiers Forster-Tuncurry at Tuncurry next Saturday.