The new national women's rugby competition will bring more opportunity to Darling Downs players pictured above in the this year's Women's Sevens grand final between Toowoomba Bears and Warwick Water Rats.
The new national women's rugby competition will bring more opportunity to Darling Downs players pictured above in the this year's Women's Sevens grand final between Toowoomba Bears and Warwick Water Rats. Nev Madsen

Super W will boost rugby across nation

RUGBY UNION: The new Super W competition could mean the re-emergence of the Darling Downs Women's 15-a-side rugby competition.

Downs Rugby general manager Mitch Simpson said rugby sevens boomed in the region after the success of Australian teams, particularly at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"There was an immediate impact from the international success of sevens," he said.

"We expanded from no formal competitions to three different age groups in club rugby and a massive school sevens competition within a couple of years."

He hopes to see the same growth take off, coming off the back of the new women's national XV competition announced yesterday.

It will feature five teams - Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, ACT and Victoria - and will run over six weeks from March with finals in April.

"The national competition will draw a lot of interest," Simpson said.

"At a regional level we just have to wait until it filters down to us.

"If it's anything like the sevens it won't take long."

Historically, Simpson said women's rugby sevens was the driving force behind women in sport.

"It was the pioneer in terms of football codes when it came to revitalising women's participation," he said.

"Fifteen-a-side has always been there but in the last 10 years sevens rugby has really taken over that scope."

With the sevens already established with a strong following Simpson believed it was the perfect time to focus on developing the 15-a-side competition and continuing its growth.

"The new Super W competition will open up pathway opportunities in the Downs," he said.

"We have a number of very talented girls and women in the region."

There are three Downs Rugby players contracted to the Aussie Sevens squad and Simpson said it wouldn't be long until we saw some come through the Super W.

>> What do you think of the new competition? Let us know at madolyn.peters@thechronicle.com.au.



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