Could GRL teams provide the lifeline for women's comp?
LEAGUE: The club which won a Bundaberg Rugby League premiership with two Jillaroos in the historic 2015 grand final could return to the competition next season.
The Chronicle can reveal the BRL is in discussions with Gladstone & District Rugby League officials about a possible return for Calliope and Wallabys to next year's BRL's women's league.
Calliope won the 2015 decider after a 26-22 double extra time win against Past Brothers.
The mammoth grand final battle between two true heavyweights of regional rugby league - one the home of Jillaroos Kody House and Chelsea Baker and the other a Bundaberg club who has invested in women's rugby league for the best part of a decade - was an exhibition of top-level rugby league that has sadly never been repeated.
That could change as of next season after Gladstone teams were voted out of the Rockhampton Rugby League.
Gladstone is home to four women's teams - reigning premiers Tannum Seagals, Wallabys, Calliope Roosters and Gladstone Valleys - who could create and compete in their own competition.
The BRL is currently struggling for numbers in the women's game.
Despite female participation being the biggest area of growth from 2016 to 2017 (the Chronicle has requested 2018 participation figures), only three BRL clubs have committed to fielding teams next year.
Defending premiers Past Brothers, Waves Tigers and the as-yet unaffiliated Hervey Bay Seagulls have the numbers.
Isis Devils president John Cole revealed his side had struggled for a player base, while Wests, Wallaroos, Maryborough Brothers and Easts have not committed to teams.
BRL chairman Mike Ireland confirmed he would discuss the situation and possible solutions with Gladstone counterpart Richard Duff at the Central Division board meeting this weekend.
Should the women's competition proceed, it promises to be a milestone year.
BRL directors agreed to stage at least one round where the women's games would feature as the main event at Salter Oval, Bundaberg.
The date is yet to be confirmed, but it is expected to coincide with the Women in League round.
- ADDITIONAL REPORTING
VIA SHANE JONES