Batley Girls offered chance to shine on NRL Scholarship scheme

Evie Kilburn and Millie Taylor faced much bigger New Zealand opponents when they toured with Merrimac High.
Evie Kilburn and Millie Taylor faced much bigger New Zealand opponents when they toured with Merrimac High.

Batley Bulldogs Girls rugby league players Evie Kilburn and Millie Taylor have been offered a place on the NRL Scholarship programme in Australia.

The girls were invited to tour New Zealand with Australian school champions Merrimac High and produced some impressive displays, leading to their invitation to become the first English girls to join the NRL scheme.

Head of coaching on the Scholarship scheme is former Manly and Queensland player and current development coach Dave Maccoll.

He was impressed with the Batley girls’ attitude and performances on the New Zealand tour.

He said: “The English girls really stood up and fronted up to the big Kiwi girls.

“We toured a young team and Millie and Evie were two of the oldest. They led by example on and off the field.

“We would have them in any team out here (in Australia).

“I hope they take the offer up and start on the programme and I look forward to working with both players in the near future.”

Batley Bulldogs Girls, who Millie and Evie both play for, toured Australia last year when they came up against Merrimac High.

The school were so impressed with the pair that they were invited on the NRL Reach Out Programme tour to New Zealand, where they played a series of rugby league and union sevens games for Merrimac in Auckland.

It was a huge step up from the level of competition they face when playing for Batley in England but both girls did the Bulldogs club proud in the face of some huge New Zealand players.

The Bulldogs girls won the hearts and respect of both Kiwi opponents and their Australian team mates as they produced some terrific performances, with both players scoring a number of quality tries over a series of games.