There are many national teams in Australia that witness the players having to put their hands into their own pockets so that they can pull on the green an gold, which is extremely sad, but also commendable. The sad thing is some players miss out purely because they cannot afford to play for their country.
To add to the difficulties these teams often rarely get the chance to even train together. Most of the teams in this boat are the women’s teams, who despite having more success than their male counterparts internationally tend to be the forgotten teams when it comes to finding. Some administrators would be wise to remember that these women may well one day be mothers and they will have an influence on which sports their children play.
The Jillaroos, Australia’s female Rugby League team are one of these teams to suffer a lack of funding, although their recent trip top Samoa was the first time they had ever had a trip fully paid for.
Next month they come against the Silver Ferns, their arch rivals from across the Tasman, and at present the squad is all having to train separately for a game that will see the number one ranked team in the world face off against the number 2, in Australia. Surely with all of the money sloshing around in the NRL, the game could find some funding to give the team the best chance of beating the New Zealanders and claiming an important scalp?
Let us hope that someone comes to the party and ensures that they can all meet up more than just two days before the test match.