Hull FC Ladies are set to break their attendance record when they take on Oulton Raidettes at Brantingham Park on Saturday.
Part of a family fun day, more than 1,000 supporters are expected to attend one of the biggest events of Hull&Proud Week.
After the ladies game at 11.45am, Hull’s reserves will take on Keighley (2pm kick-off).
Ladies player Nataliina Romano said: “We played at the family fun day at Haworth Park last year and it was great to play in front of all of the fans. It was a great experience for us as a team, so we’re looking forward to doing it again over at Brantingham this weekend.”
Romano, who played for a boys team as a youngster, struggled to find a girls team as a teenager due to there being a lack of opportunities for young ladies.
Despite almost dropping out of rugby at a young age, the loose forward kept the faith and now she is preparing to play in front of a record crowd for a Hull FC Ladies fixture at the Family Fun Day this weekend.
Romano is thankful for there being more opportunities available to female rugby players in the present day and she explains that she is proud to represent the club she has been a lifelong supporter of.
“I have just got so much passion for rugby and I felt that I wasn’t ready to stop, so I left the team that I was previously at to come and join Hull FC, the team who I have supported all of my life,” she said.
“As a woman playing rugby league, there has got to be the opportunity to work your way up the ladder to the very top. Men have the chance to do it, so women should have that opportunity too. That is going to help the women’s game grow.
“My aim here is to get as many women into rugby league and to make sure that they are enjoying it.
“We want to be able to compete in a league like we do in the Women’s Championship and stick together like any team would.
“I have come a long way. From being nine-years old when I was fighting to try and get game time in the boys teams, to now where we have this whole women’s team and my only concern is to earn the right to wear my playing shirt. I don’t have to worry about not being allowed to play.
“It would be amazing for me to help more people get into women’s rugby league and give them an opportunity that I never had as a young girl.
“When I was that nine-year-old girl, I never had anybody showing me the pathway and telling me what I needed to do to play women’s rugby league.”
Hull FC Ladies and Oulton Raidettes friendly match will kick-off at 11:45am on Saturday 6th July, taking place at Brantingham Park (Brantingham Rd, Elloughton, Brough, HU15 1HX)