Raecene McGregor, the 2022 NRLW Dally M Medal winner has called for the league to move toward full-time contracts for female players, while backing a suggestion to change the name of the women’s game’s top individual award.
“It’d be awesome if it would be,” McGregor said when asked about the medal’s namesake being changed to a pioneer of the women’s game.
”There’s so many women that have paved the way for us to be where we are today.”
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It’s objectively a bit strange that the award for the game’s best female player is also named after Dally Messenger, and there were recent reports that the ARLC was considering a name change – to honour Maggie Moloney, a pioneer of the women’s game 100 years ago.
But McGregor would be happy to see a more contemporary woman chosen – Ali Brigginshaw.
“She’s always somebody that I really looked up to as a player and I’ve been really lucky to play with her. She’s just taught me so many things moving forward in my career,” McGregor said.
“I wouldn’t say that her name wouldn’t be tossed up for one of these awards later on.”
McGregor says female players must be treated as the top-tier professionals they are.
“I’m really hoping we’re full-time by the next five years,” she said.
“We’re heading in the right direction.
“There’s so many girls that work full-time. I’m one of them. It’s really hard to go from work to training.”
The 24-year-old took home the Dally M after a stellar season with the Roosters – who she joined last season after a long lay-off due to a shoulder injury.
“It’s definitely a massive shock to me,” McGregor said.
“Like I said before, there’s so many girls out there that deserve this award.
“I’m really, really grateful to receive it.
“It’s really amazing to see from where the game started to where it is now. So many young girls out there look up to us as players. It’s awesome.”
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She didn’t have a club after sustaining her injury, and conceded it felt bleak at times.
“It was really hard to not have a club there. To play for the last three years and have such a big injury … it was really tough,” McGregor said.
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She said it wasn’t because there were no clubs wanting her, but that she was shelved because of injury – before COVID-19 pushed the season back and she found a home with the Tricolours.
She took time to thank her mother and sister, particularly the former.
“It’s really special to have my sister and my mum there, especially my mum. She’s such a big supporter of mine and I’m sure everyone heard her down there,” McGregor said.
“I really love them with all my heart, so just to have them there was amazing.”
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