SIDELINED: Delaney Claridge is the best player on her Under-11 Calliope Roosters team but will have to leave the game soon because she is a girl.
SIDELINED: Delaney Claridge is the best player on her Under-11 Calliope Roosters team but will have to leave the game soon because she is a girl. Mike Richards

Rugby league rule will give best player the boot

DELANEY Claridge has been heralded as the best player in her Calliope Roosters Under-11s team.

The 11-year-old has played rugby league since she was seven, but will look for another sport next year due to a rule stopping girls playing with boys once they reach 13.

"I wish I could keep playing with my team," she said.

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"I like footy because you get to hit people and run as hard as you can at them."

Stuart Claridge wants his daughter to play the game she is "very good at".

"We need a collective effort to develop the girls' game for not just her but others girls," he said.

"I did (worry she'd get hurt) but a lot more mums, dads and boys worry about her now."

Roosters women's captain Kara Moore was "absolutely devastated" 20 years ago when she was in Delaney's position.

"I loved (rugby league) so much and I can see that in her. She will play for Australia," she said.

Players like Moore, who played for Queensland, had to develop away from the game, including Kara who played rugby union "because there was nothing here in rugby league to further myself".



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