Indigenous women’s coach Dean Widders is not one of those people.
“(The women’s game has) all the good things about rugby league at the moment,” he tells foxsports.com.au.
“They throw the ball around, take risks and try to put on big hits.
“It’s part of the game that was in the men’s even 10 years ago but it’s still there in the women’s game.
“They’re some of the things that traditional rugby league followers love about the game — the toughness and the skills.
“It’s all heart, it’s not technique and training, it’s passion.”
The success of the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League trumped ratings of men’s A League games over the summer and Widders believes rugby league has an even better product ready to sell to traditional audiences if the NRL introduced a competition.
He sees first hand how rugby league has inspired rising stars like 20-year-old Jillaroo Latoya Billy, who catches three planes and a boat from her island home of Moa in the Torres Strait just to get some game time.
Billy took a small plane from Moa to Horn Island, from there to Cairns and then on to Brisbane to be a part of the Indigenous All Stars camp this week.[…]