Some of the Queensland's up-and-coming female players got to experience their first taste of international football – hosting a visiting girls team from the United Kingdom recently.
The Batley Bulldogs travelled to Australia earlier last month – taking part in a four-game tour of Queensland, playing games against Norths Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Beenleigh School and Merrimac School.
The Merrimac and Batley clubs are no strangers, with a team from the Gold Coast school having toured the United Kingdom last year, taking the honours with an 18-6 victory.
During this Southern Hemisphere tour, the visitors may have found the results hard to come by – but tour was a great success with girls from both the UK team and the Australian teams making new friends for life.
Batley’s win over Beenleigh made news across the other side of the world – but they were not able to overcome an impressive Merrimac side in their return leg.
However, the game made still made the news, getting featured on the Channel 9 Gold Coast news bulletin.
Queensland NRL Female Participation Co-Ordinator Keeown Rawnsley said she was thrilled to see the new opportunities being afforded to girls to not only in Queensland; but overseas as well.
"Female participation is the fastest-growing aspect of the game; it is great to see the increasing opportunities offered to the girls not only here in Queensland, but now internationally with the UK Batley tour," she said.
"This gives greater exposure and recognition to the female game globally and makes for an exciting future ahead.”
The Batley Bulldogs are based in West Yorkshire in their third season of existence. The club now has two teams – and Under 13 and an Under 15 team. The Under 15 team were national champions in 2014.
Summary of the Batley Bulldogs Girls tour of Queensland
Game 1: Norths Ipswich (Tigers) defeated Batley 50-0
Game 2: Sunshine Coast Falcons (Beerwah) defeated Batley 28-14
Game 3: Batley Bulldogs defeated Beenleigh State High School 14-8
Game 4: Merrimac State High School defeated Batley 16-4