Hard yakka shaping young Queensland playmaker

When she’s not playing rugby league, Reeghyn Beardmore spends her days working out on the land.

“Since finishing school, I’ve been getting up each day at 4am, mustering sheep or working with cattle, it’s never ending you always have something to do out on the land,” Beardmore said.

The 17-year-old recently joined the 2019 Harvey Norman Emerging Origin Girls Under 18 camp held at Robertson Gardens from January 18-21.

“I’ve come back fitter for this Emerging Origin camp, (and) working out on the land is obviously quite physical.”

Hailing from St George, a small town located six hours west of Brisbane, rugby league has always been a big part of her life.

Reeghyn Beardmore - QAS Female Under 18's
Reeghyn Beardmore - QAS Female Under 18's

“I started playing rugby league when I was 5-6 years old for the local team, the St George Dragons,” Beardmore said.

“St George is a big rugby league community.

“I was always an energetic kid growing up, so playing rugby league was the obvious choice.”

St George, along with other remote regions of Queensland, have been hit hard by natural disaster in recent years.

“It’s been tough the last few years out in St George with the drought,” Beardmore said. 

“There is this toxic weed called Pimelea, which is more prominent through dry periods.

“It kills a lot of cattle, as it swells the neck of the animal and they become too weak to survive.

“(But) we had a bit of recent rain, so were going alright at the moment.

“The real problem is we struggle to get follow up rain.”

Reeghyn Beardmore - Central Crows
Reeghyn Beardmore - Central Crows

Beardmore has recently graduated from Year 12 and travels huge distances on a weekly basis in season in order to play the game she loves.

“Last year, I was traveling four hours one way to Toowoomba to play footy on the weekends, and then an additional two hours if the games were in Brisbane,” she said.

The St George Dragons junior has plans to move to Toowoomba this year to make it easier for her to pursue her dream of becoming a professional player.

“In February, I’m probably going to move to Toowoomba and I’ll be playing with Valleys A Grade,” Beardmore said.

“I’ll be working as an NRL Development Officer and I’m also a referee.

“My goal is to be a professional rugby league player and I want to take it as far as I can.”

Beardmore believes the introduction of the inaugural Women's State of Origin in 2018 has helped lift the profile of females in the game.

“Seeing the Women’s Origin in 2018 was inspiring and it’s good to know coming through the girls pathways, there is something to strive towards,” Beardmore said.

“Its good being able to come into elite camps and rep carnivals and have the likes of Steph Hancock, Heather Ballinger and Chelsea Baker coming up, greeting you, and wanting to have a chat.

“It’s inspiring for us young girls, as we look up to these women.”

Beardmore is a playmaker, and looks to base her game off 2018 Dally M Female Player of the Year and fellow Queenslander Brittany Breayley.

“She’s really game smart, she’s the best in the comp and is always looking for opportunities," Beardmore said.

“I play in the halves, but I’m a utility player so you’ll often find me playing a few different positions.

“I like to have the ball in my hands, and be able to lead the team around park.”

Brittany Breayley - 2018 Queensland Women's team training.
Brittany Breayley - 2018 Queensland Women's team training.

She aspires to one day represent Queensland so that she can make her community of St George proud.

“To play State of Origin; it would mean so much for me and my community,” Beardmore said.

“Coming from such a small town, they’ve always supported me. 

“Playing for Queensland is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I don’t think words could really describe how much it would actually mean to me to be able to wear that Maroon jersey.”

Beardmore relishes every opportunity she has to be a part of the QAS Female Programs and believes it is a crucial part of the development of Women’s Rugby League in Queensland.

“Personally, I take a lot away from these camps," she said. "I take in as much as I can to improve my overall game – everything from tackling to ball work.

“It’s good to see girls from all areas come together and work as a team.”