Kelly hopes Jillaroos inspire next generation

Updated: December 5, 2017
Isabelle Kelly

Fresh from her incredible win in the Women’s World Cup final against the Kiwi Ferns, Jillaroo and CRL Women’s Nines Ambassador Isabelle Kelly can’t wait to see what the future holds for women in Rugby League.

Boasting an incredible strike rate of 50 tries across her 39 game career (including a double in the Final at Suncorp Stadium), Kelly played a starring role in the Jillaroos success and hopes their victory will resonate with the next generation of female players.

Reflecting on her world cup experience, Kelly thinks “it will definitely inspire a lot of girls to play rugby league,”

“I think people are really excited to get on board and start promoting Women’s Rugby League,”

“I know myself and a lot of the other girls have received so many messages over the last few weeks from young girls just saying how proud they are and how they can’t wait to be like us one day.”

With almost 50% of nationally registered female players participating in CRL tackle and tag competitions, the pathways for country girls like Kelly and Jillaroos team mates Caitlin Moran and Nakia Davis Welsh; continue to grow.

With over 1800 players competing in CRL Women’s Nines competitions across Regional NSW in 2017, Kelly believes these girls are on the path to success; with Kelly having played both Rugby League and Ladies League Tag on the weekend’s when she first began playing.

“I feel like most of the talent is coming from regional areas, they don’t get seen as often but once they do, people can see the potential. Ladies League Tag has definitely helped because they get the skills and learn all the basics of rugby league and they’re growing into such great players.” She said.

With Ladies League Tag competitions held in every Group throughout Country Rugby League and the emergence of the CRL Women’s Nines; girls can learn the necessary skills before progressing straight to tackle version of the game.

“I hope something happens in the next five years, not just for me, but for younger girls to go through the ranks playing from under-14’s all the way to opens.”

As an ambassador of the CRL Women’s Nine’s and an International Representative, Kelly encourages girls to join Nines competitions because it acts as the perfect stepping stone to play tackle Rugby League.

“I would say to give it a go because Nines is so much fun and you learn a lot. Definitely give it go and don’t be scared because once you learn that you’ll be able to play 13-a-side.”

Click here to view all results from the Women’s CRL Nine’s competition.