Women's game crucial in 'Voice against Violence'
The Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns will play a crucial role in the NRL's fight against domestic violence following Sunday's announcement of additional resources granted for the 'Voice against Violence' campaign.
Jillaroos veteran Ruan Sims is looking forward to getting to some of the 60 workshops targeted at boys aged 16-18 in regards to preventing domestic violence against women.
Sims – sister of past and present NRL stars Ashton, Tariq and Korbin – believes a woman's voice in the male-dominated world of rugby league will hit home most when it comes to these workshops.
It's all in name of the NRL's efforts to reverse the horrible statistics around domestic and sexual violence against women.
"In this day and age, it's unacceptable. The fact we can use our extremely strong voice that we have here at the NRL to drive such an important message in a key demographic is just beyond exciting," Sims told NRL.com.
"With the Jillaroos being in the spotlight a lot more, it's going to be fantastic. To be able to drive home those messages that we want to drive [through the Jillaroos] it will make [Voice against Violence] even better than it possibly could.
"To hear it coming from a male dominated sport, but with a female voice, is so strong. It's something we can really utilise."
Sims and Kiwi Ferns skipper Serena Fiso were present earlier in the week at Rugby League Central alongside Kangaroos veteran Corey Parker when the new program was announced – in another sign of the growing stature of the women's game.
With the Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns set to face off in the curtain raiser for the May 6 Test in Newcastle, Sims laughed off suggestions of any pre-game banter with Fiso.
"I don't think Serena or I are that kind of people. I'm not that quick with the quips either so you have to be good at that stuff before you run your mouth," Sims laughed.
"She's actually fantastic though. I've never actually spoken to Serena before. We have met on the field. She said I had tackled her a few times but it's the first time I've talked to her.
"She's a lovely woman and I was glad to take the time to get to know her as a person – not just a black jersey opposite me that I need to tackle. It's fantastic to be able to drive this message together across Australia and New Zealand."
They may be friendly off the field but Sims and the Australians are focused on bringing down the Kiwi Ferns after losing their series two games to one at the Auckland Nines in February.
"We didn't adjust very well on the Sunday to the conditions and we didn't serve up a brand of football that we were particularly happy with," Sims said of the Nines weekend.
"We know we can be the better and we know that we are better, but we also know that the Kiwis will come over just as strong. We need to really bring our A-game and be on top of it from the get-go and hopefully we can do that."