Kiwi Ferns star Honey Hireme wants to play in NRL women's premiership in 2018

The centre is considering putting retirement plans on hold to feature in the competition.
The centre is considering putting retirement plans on hold to feature in the competition. Photo credit: Photosport

Kiwi Ferns star Honey Hireme loves the prospect of playing in a professional rugby league competition so much that she would put retirement plans on hold.

On Wednesday, the NRL announced plans to launch a six-team women's premiership which will for now run from August to September.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg called it the first step towards a 24-round, fully professional, elite competition to be played alongside the men's.

The teams will be aligned to NRL clubs and the governing body is accepting bids for licenses, which will be announced in the New Year - and the Warriors are interested in having a team compete.

Hireme, who scored 13 tries during the women's Rugby League World Cup would love the opportunity to feature in the inaugural season.

"I'm not getting any younger and the plan was to originally to retire after this World Cup but we didn't come away with the win, so it doesn't taste as good so it is something I'd definitely look at," she told Newshub.

"But for me, it is something important for the younger players coming through.

"All those girls that played in their first World Cup, it could set them up with careers and they have had a taste of being a professional sportsman through the World Cup.

"Now they may actually get paid and live the life of a professional athlete." 

Hireme knows what it is like to be a professional athlete after her time with the New Zealand Sevens team.

The 36-year-old said her time being a professional helped her grow on and off the field and Hirenme is confident it would be the exact same for any of the ladies who compete in this new competition.

"I came through the contacting system for four years with the New Zealand Sevens and it really took my playing carer just to that next level.

"If that opportunity came up in league, it would give these girls that huge opportunity to live the professional lifestyle and flourish." 

New Zealand Rugby League Chief Executive Alex Hayton is looking forward to seeing how the new women's competition develops over the years.

"It is not only great for women's rugby league but rugby league in general," he said.

"It is largely driven by the NRL and it will also be funded by the NRL. They also recognisance the importance of the New Zealand market and New Zealanders and Polynesian playing rugby league also

"To have that competition in place now as a reward for players coming through and getting something out of rugby league for everything they put into it is great to see."