Sisters and Burleigh Bears teammates Zahara and Chante Temara. Picture: Adam Head.
Sisters and Burleigh Bears teammates Zahara and Chante Temara. Picture: Adam Head.

QRL Women’s competition kicking off this weekend

SHE is the poster girl for the QRL Women's pathways push and emerging star Chante Temara is ready to dive into her latest rugby league assignment.

The Burleigh hooker and her Tweed rivals are among a host of young guns hoping to make a name for themselves when the inaugural QRLW season kicks off on Saturday.

The eight-team, eight-week competition has arrived on the back of massive growth for the women's game in recent years, with increased State of Origin and Jillaroos exposure aided by the creation of the NRL Women's in 2018.

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Now, with a new era for the state's best and brightest on the horizon, 2020 could prove to be the making of Queensland's next generation of female footy heroes.

"There's been so many players that have come out from the NRLW so having this comp that provides a pathway or stepping stone is only going to aid that. The biggest thing too is the country kids, they don't have to live in Brisbane to get an opportunity," Burleigh coach and Jillaroos legend Tahnee Norris said.

"(The players) have got so many opportunities now and they're getting a lot more media, social media and promotion than we ever did. It's exciting times.

"Chante is only 18 but we've had her in the system (at Burleigh) for a couple of years now. Initially she was playing fullback but always with the intention that once she got big enough and strong enough she would move into the middle of the field (as hooker).

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"She played Queensland under-18s last year and she's got a massive future in front of her. The standard of (the QRLW) will be just that one step above what we've played in the past so I think it will be a big opportunity for her to show what she can do."

While Tweed's historic first women's team held their own in last season's SEQ division 1 competition, Burleigh's campaign ended in heartache with a grand final-loss to West Brisbane.

Having won the previous four premierships, the Bears are now out for revenge in the QRLW, which will finish prior to the Women's State of Origin on June 19.

Norris said she hoped future editions of the QRLW would run parallel to the NRLW season to provide a virtual reserve grade competition, as with the men.

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"I know it's only the first year but my hope is it goes through to the NRLW (season). At the moment it cuts short before Origin time so I just think they need a lot more footy, especially going into an Origin game and then NRLW," she said.

"What I'd like to see is that it mirrors exactly what happens with the men, where if you're not playing for your NRLW team you go back and play for the QRLW side."

QRL WOMEN'S ROUND 1 FIXTURES

■ Saturday 3pm - Brothers Ipswich vs. North Queensland Gold Stars

■ Sunday 1.20pm - Tweed vs. Souths Logan

■ Sunday 1.20pm - Easts vs. Central Queensland

■ Sunday 2pm - Burleigh vs. West Brisbane