The launch of the NRL's Harvey Norman Women In League Round has highlighted that the number of women enjoying the game is on the rise.
Over the last 18 months, there has been a 31 per cent growth in female club registrations and a 26 per cent increase in school participation. Total female participation is now more than 171,000.
The diverse role played by women across the game will be acknowledged and celebrated throughout Round 10 of the NRL Telstra Premiership this weekend.
"Now in its ninth year, Women In League Round provides the opportunity for the women in our game to feel proud of their roles and contribution to Rugby League," NRL Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Young said.
"Whether it is as administrators, players, coaches, employees, volunteers or club members, women really are at the heart of the game.
"There are now more than 90 female competitions in Australia. There are also more than 400,000 women playing a format of the game, Touch, Tag or Tackle.
"Female club membership is in excess of 71,000 and there are 1100 female registered referees, coaches and sports trainers, as well as thousands of volunteers.
"We are very grateful to have long time partner Harvey Norman supporting this round, and their recent announcement as naming rights sponsor of the Jillaroos proves that we really are leading the way in women’s sport in Australia.
"The Jillaroos have had some fantastic success in recent times, with their 22-14 win over the Kiwi Ferns, in the ANZAC Test curtain raiser on May 3, attracting nearly 100,000 viewers across NSW on Channel Nine and another 50,000 in New Zealand.
"In addition to thanking the women involved, this round truly highlights the role that the game plays in engaging members of all communities through sport, social activities and volunteering.
"I encourage all fans to get out there this weekend to be a part of saluting Women In League."
This year, the NRL appointed four female Ambassadors as part of the NRL Community team; former Jillaroos captain Karyn Murphy and current Jillaroos Renae Kunst, Ruan Sims and Tallisha Harden.
Two female referees are currently in the NRL emerging squad - Kasey Badger and Belinda Sleeman - and both have been appointed as NRL touch judges.
The Roosters and Bulldogs will pay the first tributes with their Friday night clash at ANZ Stadium to feature the Harvey Norman Women in League lounge- an area for fans to record a message about their personal female influencers and upload onto their social media accounts. Select messages will then be shown on the ANZ Stadium big screen – the lounge and big screen activation will also feature at the Eels, Storm and Dragons fixtures across the weekend.
Other match day activations during Women in League round will include:
• An all-female guard of honour before each Telstra Premiership Fixture
• WIL logo replacing the Telstra Premiership logo across the round
• Purple numbers across the round on the field of play
• Harvey Norman ‘Lucky Row’ at each game with prize giveaways
• Ambassador appearances
• Harvey Norman LED online competition
• Various club events
For more information or to explore Women In League Round please visit the dedicated Women In League site at www.nrl.com/WomeninLeague
Across the round fans are encouraged to upload their best #WomenInLeague photo, with a chance to be featured on game day screen. The official hashtag for the round is: #WomenInLeague
To purchase tickets please visit www.nrl.com.au/tickets