Jillaroos and NSW legend Tarsha Gale believes the possibility of luring Australia's best rugby sevens talent across to the NRLW this season can only benefit the four-team competition.
NRL.com revealed last Thursday that several rugby sevens stars had expressed interest in joining NRLW clubs for the September kick-off after the Tokyo Olympic Games were postponed until 2021.
Among the names include Sydney-based Queenslander Charlotte Caslick, who has held talks with the Roosters in recent weeks.
Rugby Australia's contracts for the likes of Caslick are due to expire on August 31 with the NRLW competition expected to begin a month later in the final week of September.
Gale, who played 15 Tests for the Jillaroos between 1995-2000, was buoyed by the prospect of a cross-code recruitment drive.
The former NSW captain juggled between rugby league, union and AFL throughout her sporting career – a common trend in women's sport.
"It would be tremendous for the game and it makes sense for the girls," Gale told NRL.com.
"I don't think we can afford to be exclusive when it comes to selecting talented athletes to play in our competition.
"Why knock back the opportunity to have some of the world's best rugby sevens girls playing?
"We've seen Tiana Penitani and Millie Boyle make the transition and they've only benefited. I'm all for it and the girls deserve the same opportunities."
Gale received one of the highest acknowledgments from the NSWRL in 2017 when the under-18s Tarsha Gale Cup was named in her honour.
The competition's aim is to develop the next best female talent in NSW – something Gale believes won't be tarnished if established rugby sevens players secure contracts with NRLW clubs.
"The pathways are there for the girls and our competitions are only going to grow if we keep getting the talent," Gale said.
"That's what a great competition is – you've got to have the great players to grow it. That's just the business of growing elite sport … getting the great athletes even if it is from another code.
"When I played there were a lot of girls crossing codes, put simply because back then women playing what were considered only men's sports ... it united us and we all knew each other.
"I'd play rugby and poach a couple over to league and then was poached over to AFL but you always had your one true love and in my case, it was rugby league.
Millie Boyle’s reaction to NRLW return
"It grows, we get more teams, it brings more exposure and more opportunities for players coming through the pathways. It's all about building the depth of talent."
Gale said any rugby sevens recruits were likely to be tested physically.
"Most of them are fast but some of them are used to the slowing up and break downs which we don't really have that in today's modern game," Gale said.
"That in itself will be a challenge for them they'll have to overcome in a short space of time."