Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has declared it “won’t be long” before a female is the head coach of an NRL team.
It comes on the eve of the new NRL Women’s Premiership in September, with Robinson’s Roosters one of four clubs set to take part in the inaugural competition.
And Robinson believes all of the club’s participating should be coached by a woman, following the lead of New Zealand, who have appointed Luisa Avaiki to lead them.
“It is a bridge too far right now – but it won’t be long,” Robinson told NRL.com.
“I was really keen but we weren’t quite ready. We couldn’t find one that was dominant or competent enough at the moment. But there should be women’s coaches of the women’s rugby league teams.
“That’s the first step and then we’ll start seeing them get into assistant coaching jobs at SG Ball, Jersey Flegg and then we’ll see them into NRL teams.
“There has to be pathways for that.”
Robinson added that a female may not coach an NRL side anytime soon, but it was important to create a pathway.
“You’ve got to create pathways for someone to show they can become a NRL coach. It’s not about creating women NRL coaches. It’s about creating pathways in coaching regardless of gender.
“I’m not saying you have had to play the game either, but it helps. I can see a couple of women out of our Roosters team the will be coaches in a couple of years.
“We want to continue to improve our coach-education pathways.
“If someone said to me ‘Can you go and coach netball?’ I don’t think I could do it because I haven’t ‘felt’ the sport. When you have to stop [playing] at under 12s and can’t play until under 16s again that’s been an issue [for women].
“So we have to create more pathways to play, to create the possibility of more female coaches in our game.”