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Warin leading the way for Normanby women's team

Stroll on down to any Normanby Hounds women’s training session and there you will see and feel just how diverse the rich cultural vibe is around Bert St Clair Oval.

Nestled amongst the well-kept homes that dot around the Normanby club fields is where you will find the women’s team being put through their paces as they compete against some of the toughest opposition in women’s grassroots rugby league.

The Normanby Hounds side compete in the SEQW Orange competition and are not only a close-knit squad, but leaders in embracing the many cultural backgrounds of people that are drawn to the game.

Players from across Australia, including the Torres Strait have joined with others from Japan, Thailand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea – and there is even a rugby union convert from Canada who have helped shape the squad.

The Hounds are also paving a positive path in player welfare for women’s rugby league, with a number of wellbeing initiatives and activities as nature walks now part of the social calendar.

The Normanby Hounds annual cultural evening celebrates the diversity of the club. Photo: supplied
The Normanby Hounds annual cultural evening celebrates the diversity of the club. Photo: supplied

One club stalwart who has been a key driver of this at the Hounds is none other than their own pocket rocket Quinnie Warin.

Warin is an inaugural player of the Hounds women’s side which was established in 2017, and this week notches up her 50th appearance for the club when they take to the field on Saturday.

The amiable lock forward will lay claim to being the first women’s player in the Normanby club’s history to have reached the all-important 50-game milestone.

‘I can’t believe that my 50 games have come around so quickly,” Warin said.

“It’s really exciting to not only bring up 50 games for the Hounds, but being the first girl to do so, is something I am really proud of.”

Having migrated from her native Papua New Guinea with her parents in 2005, the humble former Roma resident feels right at home at the Hounds.

“I stumbled upon the club through an advertisement looking for players at a UQ Open Day and that’s how I got in touch,” Warin said.

“Club president Michael Crosby was so welcoming towards me when I arrived and has looked after the girls each year, it’s such a proud club that really embraces women’s rugby league.”

An integral part of the Normanby family, Warin has been lacing on the boots on any given Saturday for the past five seasons at the Hounds, which recently saw her make her BHP Premiership debut with Valkyries (main image).

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Coach Wayne Treleaven praised Warin’s effort in the match against Valleys Diehards, saying she had “a big heart in a little body who gave her all whilst on the field”.

While women’s rugby league is growing at a rapid pace, it is still quite rare to see women notch up a half century in the game; however, Warin’s perseverance and determination has paid off in numbers for the University of Queensland student who is studying a degree in Bachelor of criminal justice.

Club committee member and team mate Erin Kelly sang the praises of Warin, who is known around the club as the girl with the huge smile.

“Having Quinnie at our club is such an amazing feeling,” Kelly said.

“I have never met anybody with such a hard work ethic both on and off the field, it’s almost like she is a permanent fixture at our club now.

“I think I speak on behalf of the entire Normanby club and the Papua New Guinea community when I say that Quinnie is one of the most humble human beings out there.”

The Normanby Hounds following their Round 1 win against Mt Gravatt. Photo: supplied
The Normanby Hounds following their Round 1 win against Mt Gravatt. Photo: supplied

That hard work has also seen Warin become such a well-respected member of the Hounds club that she shares the co-captaincy responsibilities with fellow team mate Alex Dorante.

“I’ve worked really hard to get this far from my early days playing junior rugby league back in Roma,” Warin said.

“I encourage any girl out there thinking of having a go at rugby league to join up at your local club, it was the best decision I ever made!”

To catch this important milestone, Warin and her Hounds team mates will face off against Mustangs Brothers this Saturday at Bert St Clair Oval, Graceville, with the match kicking off at 3.15pm.