Dally M winner Raecene McGregor supports call for medal name change

Dally M Medal winner Raecene McGregor has backed a motion to change the name of the NRLW’s top individual award. 

The Sydney Roosters halfback claimed the women’s medal on Wednesday night alongside men’s winner Nicho Hynes.

Named after rugby league great Herbert Henry “Dally” Messenger, the Dally M Medal carries the same name for both the men’s and women’s awards. 

Last week, however, The Ticket reported that the Australian Rugby League Commission is considering a name change for the women’s honour.

MORE: NRLW Grand Final: What you need to know | Nicho Hynes claims Dally M Medal

Speaking after winning the Dally M, McGregor expressed her support for a new name that would better reflect the women’s game.

“It’d be awesome if it would be [changed],” McGregor said.

”There are so many women that have paved the way for us to be where we are today.”

Maggie Moloney – the star of the first-ever official women’s rugby league match in Australia – has been touted as the most likely name to grace the award. 

Whilst McGregor would support this name change, the 24-year-old also suggested current Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw as an option.

“[Brigginshaw] is always somebody that I’ve really looked up to as a player and I’ve been really lucky to play with her,” she said.

“She’s just taught me so many things moving forward in my career.

“I wouldn’t say that her name wouldn’t be tossed up for one of these awards later.”

Currently in its fifth season, NRLW will expand in 2023 to a 10-team competition. 

McGregor shared how she has enjoyed seeing the rise of the women’s game in Australia.

“It’s really amazing to see where the game started to where it is now,” she said.

“And to see so many young girls out there Look up to us and players, it’s awesome.

“I can’t wait to be there in the next five years, hopefully, and someone is looking up to me.”

Despite the positive steps the competition is taking, the Dally M winner is one of many players who balance full-time work with training and matches.

McGregor is optimistic that NRLW will be able to offer players full-time salaries in the near future.

“I’m really hoping that we are full-time in the next five years. I think we’re heading in the right direction,” she explained.

“[But] there are so many girls that work full time [alongside NRLW].

“I’m one of them and it’s really hard to go from work to training, especially if you work a seven to three or a nine to five … particularly if you’re starting training at five o’clock.

“So in the next couple of years, I hope to see it full-time just for those girls to be able to commit to rugby league … and then whatever we do in our spare time is up to us.” 

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