The Australian Jillaroos have been inspiring the next generation during the Rugby League World Cup, with star Lauren Brown insisting that it has been a core team value during their tournament.
Australia will face the Kiwi Ferns in the World Cup final as part of Saturday’s double-header at Old Trafford.
They kick-off the action at the Theatre of Dreams, having gone unbeaten so far this World Cup.
The competition started with eight teams across two groups, with plenty of fans attending the games in England.
Headingley Stadium hosted the opener, with 8,621 in attendance to watch England beat Brazil before Canada played Papua New Guinea. It was a record crowd for a stand-alone women rugby league event taking place in the northern hemisphere.
7,139 attended the double-header semi-finals at York’s LNER Community Stadium, and Brown has been blown away by the local support by fans young and old.
“Inspire is one of our core team values,” she told Love Rugby League. “It’s really nice to see young girls and boys around the stands supporting us and cheering us on.
“While we were staying in York, we managed to go out to two schools, trying to inspire the next generation of English kids here to play rugby league.
“Their energy was infectious. It was really nice to be a part of. Definitely one of the goals of the World Cup was to inspire the next generation. And hopefully the standard and quality continues to grow in years to come.
“They all have their little signs and wanting us to sign things. We handed out Australia gear for them to wear and they wanted us to sign in. It’s really cool to see.”
Australian Jillaroos and Australia Men double?
Australia take on Samoa in the Men’s final at Old Trafford, and Australia co-captain Ali Brigginshaw believes her country can do the double on Saturday.
“We did it in 2017,” she said.
“You strive to be the best in the world. I think every team wants to do that.
“We’ve been watching them and we’re really proud to see how they’re playing. We support each other just as much, and we’ll be keen to hold the trophy up early and then enjoy a few beverages watching them.”