Female journalist hits back at NRL legend who claims it was ‘inevitable a woman would coach top flight within five years’

Australia and Canberra Raiders legend Laurie Daley earlier this week stated his belief that will be a female Head Coach in the NRL within the decade, and potentially even the next five years, as reported here.

Calling the hiring of a female Head Coach “inevitable” before then suggesting the time scale of when this would happen has received some backlash from Australian media, not least female journalist Michelle Bishop of SEN 1170 Breakfast radio where she spoke out.

“Laurie Daley has suggested that we will see a female full-time assistant coach within five years,” Bishop stated. “He then talked about 10 years down the track that we’ll see a head coaching position held by women in the NRL.

“He says it’s inevitable and it is. He’s right in saying this because we are investing money into the women’s game and it is inevitable.”

That investment has come in the shape of the NRLW which is the women’s top flight that was created in 2018 and will expand to a 10 team format for the upcoming season.

Within that league and among female State of Origin matches female coaches are prominent and growing in number, however Bishop had an issue with Daley’s comments.

“Why are we putting a time frame on this?,” Bishop asked. “I just don’t want it to be a ticking box exercise and they have got to be the right person for the job.

“The person, their credentials, how they operate and their experience should all be factors.

“It shouldn’t be about a male or a female and I just think it’s very dangerous to be saying in five years we’ll have an assistant or in 10 years time we’ll have a head coach.

“Let it just play it out naturally and be genuine about it. Who knows? We could see someone in two or three years.”

With the success of the women’s Rugby League World Cup and its running alongside the men’s and wheelchair tournaments for the first time, eyes are being brought to female rugby league at a higher rate than ever before.

That’s evident by the NRLW expansion which will create more coaching opportunities and potentially pathways for female coaches to one day assume the top job in the NRL.

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