Women’s Rugby Union Illawarra has confirmed a fourth team will join its competition this year.

The women’s league began in 2022 after years of pushing for a local fixture. Those involved in the game hope to see more female’s involved in the sport to expand the competition further.

The Illawarra has seen an increase in women’s rugby union participation after the introduction of a local competition in 2022.

Avondale Rugby Union Club President Amanda Puckeridge said her club has had a number of female rugby players over the years, but she said they had to stop playing or switch codes after a certain age.

“We’ve got a lot of our juniors coming up through the Illawarra ranks but once they hit that U14 age group, the girls can no longer play with the boys,” Puckeridge said.

“We needed somewhere for these girls to go.”

The local fixture has created a pathway for female players in junior and senior competitions to progress their rugby careers, including the chance to again play play in the country championships.

“They’re going to have a lot more representative opportunities this year, a lot more clinics and NSW Waratahs will be involved a lot more in our community,” she said.

“We’re just getting women’s rugby out there more in the community and hopefully the interest will spread.”