Unprecedented: Women on Friday night prime time
For the first time, women from all of Queensland's major rugby league competitions will have the chance to be selected to represent their state on free-to-air prime time television.
In an unprecedented fillip for the sport, the Holden Women's State of Origin game on June 22 will be televised by Channel Nine in the popular Friday evening timeslot.
It's one of a host of firsts to be unveiled as part of a revamped representative pathway for female athletes.
Other tweaks to the way Queensland women will attack the representative calendar in 2018 include:
• Players being able to represent the region where they first registered to play. This means players of rural or regional upbringing in the South-East Queensland competition can return to where they are from and help mentor up-and-coming talent.
• The Harvey Norman Queensland Country women's team being selected from a head-to-head match between Northern Marlins and Central Crows on May 19 at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.
• The Harvey Norman National Women's Championship event being held at Owen Park, Southport on June 1-3. This will feature teams from Queensland Country, Queensland City, New South Wales City,
New South Wales Country, Combined Affiliated States and the Australian Defence Force.
Previous women's interstate challenges were held for the Nellie Doherty Cup, with consideration currently being given to awarding the player of the match the Nellie Doherty Medal, since the game has been afforded State of Origin billing.
Women have been playing interstate matches since 1999, renamed the Nellie Doherty Cup in 2005.
Some of the earlier interstate female games were held at suburban fields, as the curtain-raiser to lower-grade men's teams.
This year's Women's Origin game will be held under lights and before a live broadcast audience at North Sydney Oval, one of the nation's most historic sporting fields, first used by rugby league in its Australian foundation year of 1908.
Keen observers will realise one of the famed fixtures at North Sydney Oval, the Duncan Thompson Stand, was named after one of the great pioneers of Queensland Rugby League.
What many may not realise however, is that three years before Thompson led the vaunted Toowoomba Clydesdales team of 1924 to victories over England and New Zealand, that women were already playing the sport.
Now, almost a century later, they will stand alone as the main attraction on a national stage.
Furthermore, 45 per cent of the Queensland Rugby League workforce in 2018 is female, with women integral in administering the sport in competitions across the state.
The entire female workforce of the QRL will be invited to a special Women of League luncheon in Brisbane on June 19, where the Harvey Norman Queensland Women's team will be honoured.
The event will be hosted by Channel Nine's Melissa Downes.
While in camp, the Queensland team will be special guests at a Harvey Norman All Girls clinic at Souths Juniors, Brandon Park, Acacia Ridge on June 19 from 4pm-6pm to help promote the sport.