Rick Stone Announced as CRL Newcastle Women’s Head Coach

Updated: December 14, 2018

Country Rugby League is pleased to announce that Rick Stone has been appointed Head Coach of the CRL Newcastle Women’s team competing in the Harvey Norman NSWRL Women’s Premiership.

Stone, a former Head Coach of the Newcastle Knights (NRL), Huddersfield Giants (Super League) and Fiji Bati National Team, will take charge of the side for the 2019 season in an exciting addition to the continually developing pathways for female participants in the Newcastle, Upper Hunter, Central Coast and Group 21 regions.

Stone will be joined by respected Newcastle Rugby League identity and Newcastle Knights Life Member Mark Wright (Head Trainer) and regarded Remedial Sports Therapist Cathy Zontos in a new look coaching and support staff for the elite women’s representative team.

With a host of current Australian Jillaroos, NSW Women’s Origin and NRLW stars on the CRL Newcastle roster for the upcoming season, Stone will be working with some of the brightest female rugby league talent in Australia including Isabelle Kelly, Hannah Southwell, Holli Wheeler, Mel Howard and Rebecca Young.

Expressing his delight in taking charge of his first women’s rugby league team, Stone said –

“Women’s rugby league is evolving at a rapid rate and I’ve been really impressed by the enthusiasm the players have for the game.

“The CRL Newcastle team sits at the top of a growing pathway for female participants in this region and provides a great opportunity for players to progress from local to state-based competition and hopefully put themselves in contention for Origin, Jillaroos or NRL representation.

“There is so much talent within this area and I want to see home-grown players putting their hand up to be involved.

“It’s a new challenge for me and I’m really looking forward to being involved.”

CRL Newcastle Operations Manager Mitchell Quinn believes Stone’s appointment is an indication of the continuing development opportunities available for female participants in the region.

“We’re extremely grateful to have someone of Rick’s ability and experience joining the CRL Newcastle team for the 2019 season,” said Quinn.

“Rick’s appointment was the next-step in providing our players with the coaching, resources and support they need to compete at the elite level.

“The implementation of the Central Hunter Combined Women’s Competition this season added considerable depth to the CRL Newcastle team and now provides  an unbroken pathway for over 900 players from Under-14’s right through to the NSW Women’s Premiership.

“We saw players like Hannah Southwell and Holli Wheeler progress from CRL Newcastle to NSW Women’s State of Origin, NRLW and Australian Jillaroos debut’s this year, so the incentive for players to be involved and strive for higher honours is clear.”