An inaugural women’s Knights team will this weekend represent the red and blue in an historic match against the Cronulla Sharks.
“They’re starting to back our product and what we’ve got out there for women’s rugby league,” said captain Bec Young.
“Obviously, AFL has set the benchmark and we’re working towards that.”
Young, a proud Novocastrian, is no stranger to the game of rugby league.
The mum of two is a World Cup champion, State of Origin winner, was the Indigenous All Stars leader in Newcastle last month and is an NRL Ambassador.
She’s one of a squad of women selected from across the Hunter to represent the Knights and believes it’s an incredible chance to showcase talent from across the region.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to go out there together,” explained Young.
“We’ve trained as a base for our Newcastle team so we’ve been together for the last four months.
“We’ve been training extremely hard for this, in relation to fitness levels and the skill that we’re going to need to showcase good footy.”
The format this Saturday will be a little bit different from what most of the girls play, instead of 13-a-side, it will be a Nines exhibition match.
“The Sharks girls are contracted to play and they are the starters of this competition in regards to the exhibition matches,” said Young.
“They’re obviously a great team with a good level of skill but in regards to the girls we’ve got here, we’re going to showcase a good game of footy.
“We’ve watched Cronulla’s game and we’re going to do a bit of a preview and just work on our skill level and hope we can get around them.
“Our main thing is to go forward and I think we can break them in the middle and then use our speed out wide.”
Young, who will be playing alongside fellow Jillaroos Caitlin Moran, Isabelle Kelly and Simone Smith maintains it will be a dream of hers to represent the Club she loves so much.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to pull on the red and blue jersey,” she said.
“I’m a strong Novocastrian and I love footy.
“My partner (Mick Young) was with the Knights for nine years and I’ve grown up in this area and to represent the Knights will be a massive honour and I can’t wait to get out there to show those values and the culture that the Knights have.”
The Knights’ women’s team take on the Cronulla Sharks after the NRL fixture at Southern Cross Group Stadium, kick off at 5.15pm.