Rugby League: Newcastle-based World Cup champions Caitlin Moran, Bec Young welcome introduction of Women's NRL Premiership

LOOKING UP: Newcastle-based World Cup champions Caitlin Moran and Bec Young welcome the NRL Women's Premiership. Picture: Josh Callinan
LOOKING UP: Newcastle-based World Cup champions Caitlin Moran and Bec Young welcome the NRL Women's Premiership. Picture: Josh Callinan

Caitlin Moran is already fielding offers from teams that don’t yet exist.

Bec Young has a seven-year-old daughter who may well follow in her parent’s footsteps.  

And kick-off in the inaugural NRL Women’s Premiership remains more than nine months away.

The buzz from claiming a World Cup title on home soil continues for these two Newcastle-based Jillaroos, also riding the high following this week’s announcement to introduce a professional female rugby league competition onto the Australian sporting landscape in 2018.

“It’s pretty much a fairytale,” Moran said.

“I still can’t believe it all [World Cup and NRL Women’s Premiership]. I’m only 21 and there’s so much opportunity now. It’s exciting to see what 2018 has in store.”

Upper Hunter-bred, Wallsend-based Moran was pivotal to the Australian women’s squad success at the international tournament, slotting in seamlessly at halfback throughout the five matches and sealing the 23-16 final victory over New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday with a last-minute field goal.  

It makes the 2017 NSW Women’s Premiership player of the year highly sought after with 40 contracts on offer and NRL clubs, including the Newcastle Knights, currently getting together bids for the six available franchises.  

“After the announcement it’s all kind of happening,” Moran, who was in Windale on Thursday attending a junior gala, said.

“Everyone is obviously over the moon about it and I’ve already had a lot of offers from other places.

“I’d love to play for the Knights, especially being from here ... but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Wests Group/Knights CEO Phil Gardner told the Newcastle Herald this week that the NRL Women’s Premiership was “a great concept and we want to be part of it”.  

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said “in a perfect world, we would consider geography within all of our tender documentation” and grouped Newcastle alongside other regions like Canberra and Melbourne.  

Young, an Adamstown 34-year-old with two children, now feels reinvigorated to go around again next season and buoyed by the possibility of wearing the red and blue jersey for real. 

“It’s so good to hear the Knights are being proactive and getting the ball rolling like that,” Young said.

“It would be an honour to run out with them.

“Playing an exhibition match this year [with the Knights] was unreal, but after the World Cup and the announcement this week, to have Newcastle in that competition as well would take things to another level.

“And how amazing to be able to turn to my seven-year-old girl and say if you want to play rugby league as a sport like her dad [Mick] did, then it’s going to be there as an option.”

Talks are also underway about a potential women’s tackle competition for the greater Hunter region following the recent November Nines, which included under-18 trials for the Knights’ first Tarsha Gale Cup side.