Former Jillaroos star, Meg Ward, is set to take the reins as the Head Coach of the Norths Devils in the upcoming BMD Premiership season, marking another intriguing chapter in her rugby league journey. After serving as an assistant coach during Norths’ inaugural campaign in the competition this year, Ward has committed to stepping in to take the helm of the Devils’ Ironforge Security Services Open Women’s team.
Ward’s remarkable story in rugby league began while she worked as a firefighter in the Defence Force, stationed in the Northern Territory. Despite her unconventional start, she quickly made a name for herself in the sport, earning three NRLW premierships with the Broncos and representing Queensland and Australia with distinction, including appearances at the 2017 World Cup.
Speaking of her coaching transition, Ward said,
“I’ve been coaching for four years now, but as an assistant, so I’m really looking forward to the challenge of stepping up. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with a lot of different coaches, so that has given me the opportunity to see and choose the things I now want to use. I’m just really excited to put that to the test.”
Norths CEO Troy Rovelli expressed his enthusiasm for Ward’s addition to the coaching team, highlighting her promising performance as an assistant coach in the previous season. He stated,
“We’re excited about the growth of the women’s game Meg will enable us to continue to develop our players at the Devils. Meg has already met with our club Head Coach Dave Elliott to discuss our approach to next season.”
During their inaugural BMD Premiership season, the Devils made significant progress, with multiple players making their way to the NRLW competition. Ali Brigginshaw and Shenae Ciesiolka maintained their spots in the State of Origin selection off the back of the Devils season, and Brigginshaw has recently been selected yet again for the upcoming Jillaroos internationals.
Ward’s immediate focus will be on assembling the Devils’ BMD Premiership squad for the upcoming season. She emphasized,
“Every signing period has challenges, but I’d like to get a few back from last year and pick up where we left off, which was a really good place. We want to set clear standards and values and show the players what we’re building at Norths. We’ve got the knowledge in our coaching staff.”
Speaking about her coaching philosophy, Ward stressed her commitment to creating a positive and growth-oriented atmosphere for the players.
“As a coach, my main goal is to create an atmosphere that girls want to come back to because they’ve had a good time while also learning. I want them to leave each training session thinking, whether that’s about personal growth, fitness, strength, or just learning something new about the game. It’s important to me that the girls feel motivated, supported, and challenged to push themselves.”
However, Ward’s competitive spirit is unmissable as she added,
“I want to win. I’m very competitive. I know some people don’t like talking about winning and they like to talk about the steps to get to winning. But I think that you have to have the mentality that you want to win every game, that you want to win the competition. It gives you something to strive towards. That’s why you are training so hard, why you get in early to do extras, why you work so hard in the gym. You have to have something you are working towards, and for me, that’s winning.”
In partnership with Ironforge Security Services, Norths Devils RLFC eagerly anticipates the positive impact that Meg Ward will bring to the 2024 season.