BRL's women's competition has been a major success
PROGRESS: Women's rugby league is the fastest-growing part of the game, and current Bundaberg Rugby League players hope that will continue locally into next year.
The number of teams in the BRL dropped from five to four this year, but participation had grown 43 per cent from 2016 to 2017. Figures for 2018 are yet to be released, though a small drop is expected due to the fewer number of teams.
There are hopes the launch of the four-team NRL Women's Premiership, which will include Sydney Roosters, Brisbane Broncos, St George-Illawarra Dragons and New Zealand Warriors, will drive more women to the sport in a way the AFL Women's competition inspired the introduction or expansion of female competitions across the country.
Past Brothers captain Chelsea Morrison said the club's continued support of rugby league had helped the team's dominance at a local level, but wanted to see more clubs pursue players to field teams in future seasons.
"We always want to see more women's teams,” Morrison said. "It gives our women more chances higher up to further their footy at different levels, and gives a bit of variety.
"Women's football is really on the rise so it would be good to see Wests get a team back, Easts and a few others.
"We miss Easts, they're our arch nemesis.”
Hervey Bay has a strong junior female program, and players have already begun to filter into the Seagulls' senior grades.