Fortescue Women's Premier Grade 2024 Season Preview

Tue, Apr 30, 2024, 2:00 AM
Rugby WA Media
by Rugby WA Media

The Fortescue Women’s Premier Grade will see three new teams join the competition for the 2024 season. 

Palmyra, UWA and Wests Scarborough will join Cottesloe, Kalamunda, Southern Lions and Wanneroo in the Fortescue Women’s Premier Grade in 2024, seeing the competition grow to 7 competing teams for the 2024 season.  


After joining Community Xs two years ago, UWA will join the Women’s Premier Grade for the first time this season.  

“After a great year last year, the team was eager to step up and challenge themselves,” Head Coach, Marty Lynn, shared. 

“The most pleasing part is that the move up was player driven.” 

“We've had long preseason getting ready for the step-up. We have continued to grow our player numbers, which will help us out greatly as injuries and exam time hit.” 

It’s a big change, for the team, switching between the Grades, but Marty thinks the team is looking forward to it. 

“We're looking forward to the challenge. We will be playing against Wallaroos, Super W players, and generally more experiences players.” 

“Two years ago when we started the program, 80% of our squad had never touched a rugby ball.  The continued growth of each player and the team will be a highlight.” 

“The small wins will be celebrated, and when we don't get it right, we will laugh and learn.”   

The club space and community will continue to benefit from the expansion of the women’s game in the state, a sentiment which Marty reflects as the UWA team ventures into the Women’s Premier Grade for the first time. 

“The growth in recent years has been phenomenal. The growth in player numbers and teams competing has been great to see, and this has largely been driven by the clubs understanding and appreciating the value female and non-binary players can add to club environment.” 

“The Community Xs competition has allowed new or returning players to be part of the game without being intimated. We have seen, and other clubs too, the Community Competition as a Pathway to allow people to play rugby in supportive environment.” 

RugbyWA Women in Rugby

Returning to the Women’s Premier Grade after missing the previous season due to numbers, the 2024 Season marks Wests Scarborough’s third season. 

“We’re looking forward to play in the Premier Grade again this season,” Head Coach, Christian Cano said. 

When Christian was approached to coach the team in 2019, when Wests Scarborough decided to debut a women’s side, an opportunity he was, “delighted to take up.” 

“It’s amazing, seeing the women’s game grow. It’s still at the beginning of the journey, but it’s truly the game for all.” 

“We’re really proud to be a part of it.” 

Going into the 2024 season provides a new chance at success for the returning side. For Christian, he’s most accidented for the opportunities the game presents for the team. 

“Seeing new players enter the game and take on all the amazing challenges that rugby offers is what I look forward to most going into the season, as well as seeing the positive impact it can have on the players' lives.” 


The Wanneroo women’s team was originally created in 1996 and lasted for a season or two before disbanding. In 2005, the team was reestablished, and the Wanneroo Divaz have appeared in the Premier Grade very season since then. 

A long-lasting team, the Divaz have led the way in the women’s game, consistently a strong side. Now, with a growing Premier Grade, Head Coach Des Taurima, is excited for the future of women’s rugby. 

“In the seniors, we have seven teams competing in the Premier Grade and several teams in the Community Xs. We haven't had this many teams since the early-mid 2010s.” 

“This has been fueled by juniors transitioning into seniors, mums returning to the game and players really wanting to push to get to that next level.” 

“In addition to this, the work the Perth Gold Women's Team and the Western Force SuperW team, as well as their coaches, have done to put some amazing performances on the field has highlighted that there is a pathway in WA for aspiring female athletes to reach the top, all the way through to the Wallaroos, and other international teams.” 

RugbyWA Women in Rugby

The growth of the Premier Grade is promising for women’s sport in the state, and the continued growth of WA’s rugby community. 

“Over the last few years, we would play each other 3 or 4 times in the season, and while that's fun, it also became predictable. Having this many teams, with a bunch of new players and a mix of established players, spread amongst the clubs, means coaches must work hard to prepare their players and teams well. Each team will be at different levels in terms of their ability and maturity, and that adds an unknown aspect to the grade.” 

 “As coaches I don't think we will know what each other will bring to the paddock on game day. And that's exciting. 

For his players, the Grade’s growth means more opportunity. 

“I think players will be excited about the aspect of playing in a strong competition.” 

“Seven teams adds some validity and weight to the Premier Grade, and I think playing against different teams and different players, week in week out, will give them the challenge they have been longing for, as well as keep their approach to the next game as fresh as it was the week before.” 

“It's something that will be quite new to many of the girls and I am sure every player in the competition will be up for it.” 

A stalwart of the women’s rugby community, including a stint as the Western Force SuperW Assistant Coach in 2022, Des’ history with the Divaz began in 2015. 

“I've been involved indirectly since 2015 and had a strong vested interest since 2017. During that time, we have seen some major dips in participation and that has hurt the competition. But in 2024, the horizon looks very bright.” 

“In fact, it hasn't looked so good for so long.” 

“At the moment we have a small, but very strong, junior base that are wanting to be the next Western Force SuperW players. They have been able to tour and play a higher level of competition, which has lit a fire in them to keep playing and enjoying the game.” 

A change which Des has seen and fostered firsthand within the RugbyWA pathways, as the Head Coach of 2023’s undefeated Under 18 Junior Girls, winners of the Southern States tournament, as well as the Lead Coach for the Junior Girls Development Centre in the 2023-24 off-season, and as part of the upcoming Junior Girls Performance Centre. 

As for his hopes for the Wanneroo Divaz this season, coming off a strong performance in 2023 – that they the journey. 

“That our players enjoy the game and enjoy the journey of developing themselves. Busting your guts is important, but giving just as much of that same effort to your team in terms of providing good experiences for others is just as important.” 

“I have high expectations of the players and their development this year. Based on this, I expect us to win the competition.” 

“We are privileged to be involved in the game, and it truly does create memories that you won't ever forget. So, let's make good memories together. Those are my hopes.” 


Fixtures for the Fortescue Women's Premier Grade are now available, with the season set to kick off on May 11, 2024. 

To find a junior girls or women’s team, visit Women's Clubs in WA.