The Two Blues coaching ranks continue to rise ahead of season 2022, with the Western Sydney club announcing last week that esteemed coach Beth Whaanga has secured the position of Premier Women’s Head Coach.
Whaanga joins the club with a wealth of rugby experience from Queensland and Western Australia, most recently acting as Rugby WA and Western Force Program Manager.
Despite offers from a range of Sydney clubs, Whaanga says she was most excited by the potential sporting growth within the Western Sydney catchment.
“Above all else, I was looking for a club that had a community feel about it and would welcome me and my strategies,” she said.
“I’ve come from Souths in Brisbane which has a strong Polynesian influence, so I think I can relate to many of these girls and make them feel comfortable from the outset.
“It’s real coaching in these Western Sydney communities. I realise if I can give these women the right opportunities, their immense potential will flourish.”
Having grown up in country NSW and established herself within a traditionally male-dominated sport, Whaanga believes her journey through women’s rugby will help forge an instant belief within her new playing group.
The newly appointed Head Coach says belief will be integral to any on-field success that may eventuate.
“I like the idea of building something in the West and creating an avenue for younger girls to strive toward,” she said.
“But before any of that is possible, my players need to trust me. I understand the importance of unity within these Polynesian communities and how vital it is that these girls understand who I am and what I want to achieve.
“I believe in respecting a playing group. Once you show your squad that respect, I believe that will translate to success within the competition.”
The introduction of Whaanga into the Sydney rugby program couldn’t come at a more opportune time, with the existing women’s rugby competition preparing to expand over the coming years.
The newly announced Participation Agreement has made it mandatory for all Premier Rugby Clubs to have a Women’s XVs team in the Jack Scott Cup by 2023, establishing it as the premier women’s competition within Australia.
While the Two Blues already have a team within the Jack Scott Cup, Whaanga says its expansion will help accommodate for the fastest-growing sporting demographic in our country.
“I’m incredibly proud to be involved in what is a significant step for women’s sport in general,” she said.
“I didn’t see another female coach until I was 35. I don’t want these women to struggle as I did - I want to be a driving force so that future athletes have a more traditional pathway toward women’s rugby.
“The Participation Agreement secures the growth of the women’s game and ensures that these girls always have an avenue to pursue their rugby dreams.
“I want to show those women that they’re welcome and that there is a place for them within this sport.”