NRL.com’s live online chat will feature a female guest for the first time on Thursday as celebrations for this weekend’s Harvey Norman Women In League Round continue.

North Queensland Cowboys Sponsorship Manager Samantha Lynch - who is also the partner of Australian, Queensland and Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston - will join the NRL.com team at midday for 30 minutes.

Sam was born in Sydney, raised in Brisbane and moved to Townsville in 2000. She has been working at the Cowboys since 2006 and prior to that worked for Coca-Cola as a District Sales Manager. 

In her current role as Sponsorship Manager, she manages two staff and is accountable for approximately 40 sponsors equating to over $6m in revenue for Cowboys.

“I met Johnathan through my role at the club and we have been together now for about four years,” Sam said. “In the off-season we like to travel, with our favourite destination being New York.”

Sam is one of about 50,000 females who are involved in rugby league, including volunteers, coaches, referees, first aid officers, board members, administrators, mothers, sisters and grandmothers.

This weekend’s fifth annual Harvey Norman Women in League round aims to recognise and reward the essential role played by women at all levels of the game.

A variety of activities are taking place across the country including special functions and award presentations, clubs changing their strips to a pink version, players wearing pink boots and socks and fans able to buy pink scarves.

As part of their activities, the Cowboys will host an exclusive Women In League 2011 Celebration on Thursday to recognise the efforts of North Queensland women involved in the game.