Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Fab Four See a Great Future; Women's Rugby League Is in Great Shape, Stars Say

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Fab Four See a Great Future; Women's Rugby League Is in Great Shape, Stars Say

Article excerpt

Byline: Daniel McKenzie daniel.mckenzie@dailymercury.com.au

Rugby League: It's the Mount Rushmore of Mackay sport and on Saturday, the four horsewomen of rugby league immortalised in picture stood shoulder to shoulder once again.

As the future of women's rugby league stole the show at BB Print Stadium for the Queensland Country Trials, the stars of the past and present who blazed the path - Renae Kunst, Deanna Turner, Sam Bliss and Brittany Breayley - brought the stadium's honour wall to life.

Getting the band back together again was a moment not lost on the young women looking to emulate their heroes, nor was it lost on any of the four.

Representing the past, Kunst, an NRL development officer who retired in December after lifting the World Cup as the Australian Jillaroos captain; Turner, a school teacher and North Queensland Marlins coach; and Bliss, a policewoman who's making a sporting return in representative touch football, all look like they could still play at the highest level.

Breayley, who has received the torch from Kunst, is a current national star and World Cup winning hooker with the Jillaroos.

While the launch of the women's National Rugby League competition holds much promise for Breayley, as one of the elite squad of 40 almost guaranteed a contract, being back home in Mackay with her fellow hometown greats was a moment to cherish, especially when it comes to helping more girls from the region aspire to reaching the top through a pathway, which didn't exist for the fab four.

The 27-year-old said she was "honoured" to be playing her first game for North Queensland since 2012 after a change of rules allowed the Brisbane-based Breayley to take the field.

"I started back in Mackay when I was 17 and now to see the development of the game, there's a huge pathway for the girls, so it's really great to see how it's evolved over the years," Breayley said. …

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