The Western Women's Rugby League might be welcoming a new club to the fold for 2023 but it isn't stopping the Goannas from fielding five teams this season.
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The new Western Women's (WWRL) season will begin on September 23, with Lachlan District joining the competition for the first time, a move which has some impact on the Goannas.
Based in and around Dubbo, the Goannas have often had players come from the likes of Parkes and Forbes, two towns which now would feed into the new Lachlan club.
Opens coach and club president Peta Powyer confirmed the Lachlan-based Townsend sisters would in fact stay on at the club.
"They started the club, they are going to stay. I think they are pink and black through and through those three," she said.
"Our core group is still the same but we've got a few fresh faces as well. I'm interested to see how they go, some of them are coming to the club having never played league before."
Lachlan's entry into the competition will boost the number of clubs to seven for 2023.
While the growth of the women's game is a positive sign, Powyer said she has one concern.
"It is good to see a new club come in, especially because it has been the same six clubs since it started," she said.
"I'm keen to see how they go, I've heard a few girls have gone there from us or Woodbridge. I pray it doesn't start to deplete some other teams, particularly in the 18s.
"There are a few sides struggling for numbers in that age group. It's the achilles heel for every club because you have kids doing the HSC or already in the workforce."
The club's junior base is continuing to grow each season and Powyer said their numbers are already strong more than a week away from the first game.
"For our juniors, they are mostly unchanged, with the new club based at Forbes and Parkes it hasn't really hindered our numbers," she said.
"Our under 12s and 14s have a lot of new girls while our 16s and 18s have been great, Liv Hall has come back to play for us after a few injuries.
"She had an outstanding season for the Roos so I'm keen to see how she goes, Kirby Maslin and Georgia Cole have gone to Lachlan."
Leading into summer, the weather is set to reach more than 30 degrees celsius more consistently, a big change from the recent wet summer periods.
With the heat set to play a big part in most summer codes, Powyer said there is some talk about the conditions already.
"It's going to be a hotter summer than I think we had last year, there are a lot of mixed feelings going into the season," she said.
"Our juniors are quite excited, the registrations for those guys have been great. We've had to close them for a couple of age groups already."
The Goannas will open their 2023 WWRL season on the road, taking on the Vipers at Orange's Pride Park.
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