Jess Palmer (middle), grew up with rugby league and will represent NSW on Saturday against Queensland.
My name is Jess Palmer and I work for the Australian Rugby League Development and the North Sydney Bears. I currently play with the Auburn Warriors in the Sydney Women’s Metropolitan Competition. This is my 4th season playing Rugby league and I absolutely love it.
Growing up I was an absolute sports nut – I still am!! I played every and any sport on offer, for me the opportunity to play or try a new sport was (and still is) a challenge, one that I find difficult to resist. Throughout school my main sporting focus was soccer, I spent many years dedicated to it and I held a scholarship at the NSWIS.
Throughout most of my school years Dad was the Head Trainer at the Roosters. I remember running amuck in the SFS change rooms, running down the tunnel with the players and playing footy with my brothers for hours on end in the member’s lounge after every home game.
I practically grew up in the Rugby League world, and from a fan and spectator point of view, I have always loved the game. My dad, Ronnie Palmer is my number one inspiration. Rugby League has always been a part of my life and deciding to work for ARL Development was a natural progression, it got me closer to the world I was so familiar with.
Before I started working in the industry I was unaware that a women’s competition existed and consequently it was only a few years ago that I actually started playing Rugby League. As soon as I tried it, I fell in love with the game from a whole new perspective – and I have been hooked ever since.
It was a few months before the start of the regular season that a work colleague involved in Women’s Rugby League asked me to come and play in a 9s tournament – another sporting challenge I couldn’t turn down! In fact, in order to play in the tournament I skipped out on a best friend’s wedding ceremony. Needless to say I absolutely loved the experience.
Through playing my first three seasons with the Forestville Ferrets I was lucky enough to make three Grand Finals and be victorious in two of them. I’m also very fortunate to have played for NSW in the State of Origin, and play for my Country as a Jillaroo. Since its inception I have been a member of the NRL All Stars Team, competing at the annual fixture against the Indigenous All Stars Team.
A particular highlight for me was playing for Australia in the 2008 World Cup, I was honored to be selected in the squad as it was my fist year of playing Rugby League. We made it to the grand final and I was fortunate enough to be in the starting line up against New Zealand. It was truly an amazing experience to play for my country at Suncorp Stadium in front of my family and friends.
Only a few weeks ago the Club Championships were held in Sydney and the final selections for State of Origin were made. So it is with much anticipation and excitement that I am about to head into camp for my fourth State of Origin campaign. This Saturday at 3pm the mighty NSW Blues (the girls that is) will be battling it out against the Maroons for a much-needed win at CENTREBET Stadium, Penrith. BE THERE!!
Jess Palmer works for the Australian Rugby League Development and is a member of the Australian Jillaroos.
Remember you can access all the team lists, live scores and stats from the Women in League Round on your mobile. Visit m.nrl.com on your mobile device, or download the free updated 2012 Official NRL iPhone App (where there’s live streaming radio available too).