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Jillaroos greats Nat Dwyer and Tahnee Norris.

Jillaroos legends Tahnee Norris and Nat Dwyer will have medals named in their honour to acknowledge the level of commitment and impact the pair have had in the women's game.

Norris, the most capped Jillaroos player in history, will have her medal awarded to the best player of the Harvey Norman National Championships each year, while Dwyer's medal will be handed to the best on ground for the under 18s State of Origin clash to be played as curtain raiser to the Holden Women's State of Origin match on June 21.

Both pioneers of the women's game, Norris and Dwyer's contribution to the game was recognised in an official capacity at a teams dinner on the Gold Coast on Thursday night in front of 150 current and former players in Australia. 

"It's an absolute honour," Norris said.

"I love this game, it's done so much for me. When Brad [Donald] rang me about it I got off the phone and burst into tears.

"Back in 1998 I played my first ever national titles with the Burleigh Bears. It was my first time playing rugby league. It went onto a very long career."

Dwyer, listed as the Jillaroos' No.1 player in history, spoke of her pride in being able to create a pathway for young women coming through the system in the modern era.

Nat Dwyer in Queensland camp in 2018.
Nat Dwyer in Queensland camp in 2018. ©NRL Photos

The under 18s clash will mark another first for the women's game at North Sydney Oval with Dwyer, who will assist the senior Maroons team, set to present her medal at the venue.

"It's a recognition of all the years I played rugby league," Dwyer said.

"I've got a family and it's something I can show them when I'm a little bit older. I always tell my girls to go out and enjoy the moment. You never know, it might be your only chance to showcase what you’ve got."

Jillaroos coach Brad Donald paid tribute to the pair, who he coached at state level during his time with Queensland before becoming national coach.

"Tahnee and Nat are pioneers of our women's game and are absolute heroes to female players, past and present," Donald said.

"They played in an era when women’s rugby league received little recognition and support, but they persevered, carved out incredible playing legacies and have gone on to continue to promote the game they love – rugby league.

"This is a special moment in the history of women's rugby league and the significance of both medals was not lost on the players participating as part of the Championship when they found out last night."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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