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Kennedy Cherrington, 2020 NRLW Rookie of the Year and Parramatta Eels NRLW player, has recently resigned with the club for the upcoming season.
But this time round will be extra special for Kennedy as younger sister Rueben, who has played for the Under 19's NSW Women's team, will be right alongside her after putting pen to paper last week.
Both sisters are pumped to be coming together to play for the Blue and Gold, and I was lucky enough to chat to them about all things footy and family.
Q: Firstly, congratulations. Both of your signings are just wonderful news. How does it feel knowing you are going to be playing together in the NRLW?
Kennedy: "It's really exciting. We are currently playing the Harvey Norman season together, but to know we are going to be playing for the same NRLW club at such a high level of women's rugby league is just awesome. And it's such a credit to out mum and dad for all the sacrifices they have made over the years for us to reach this point."
Q: Rueben, when I spoke to Kennedy earlier in the year, she told me how important it was to be paving the way for the next generation of girls to be able to play professional rugby league. How do you feel now being part of that movement?
Rueben: "It's pretty cool being a part of it. Seeing what my sister has done for the younger generation and now me being able to do the same - it is a really cool step. Following in her footsteps and learning from her, being able to contribute and give back feels really good."
Q: Kennedy, how much does it mean to you to be resigned by the Eels?
Kennedy: I'm so lucky. I love this club. I love what they have done for the women's game, especially in Western Sydney. Our culture is amazing. They are one of the best teams I have been part of culture wise. We are so well bonded and have such a strong connection. I just feel really lucky.
Q: It's not luck - you have earned it! And Rueben, how do you feel signing with your sister and getting to play together with her in the Blue and Gold?
Rueben: "It hasn't hit me yet! And I don't think it will until we have our first training session when the pre-season starts, but it is a very cool experience all round that I'm going to get. I'm very excited."
Q: Ok ladies, tell me - as sisters, is there a bit of sibling rivalry between you two?!
(Both sisters laugh)
Kennedy: "We are very competitive! We have two younger brothers, and competitiveness runs in the family. We are always comparing our games, our highlights, our tackles, every game, every weekend. It's a healthy competition but I think that is what has pushed us to be better."
Rueben: "We like to push each other because we know each other's potential."
Kennedy: "We hate being compared though. We have always said that. If someone says "you play better than your sister" it's like, 'but we play different positions, we are completely different players'. And we have had different pathways and different journeys to get where we are too. So don't compare siblings because it really does hurt."
Rueben: "Especially if you are degrading one and praising the other."
Q: That's a really valid point. Siblings playing the same game have different roles and play differently. Kennedy, since we last spoke the NRLW have announced the inclusion of more teams over the next few seasons. How important is that for the game?
Kennedy: "It is so good! There will be so much more opportunity for more women to come in and showcase their talent. Have you seen what the AFLW have just announced? They have brought in a minimum 94 percent increase for the players wages which is amazing, and I hope this is something that the NRLW follow. It shows the importance of backing and supporting female athletes and women's sports. We are heading in the right direction."
Q: What can we expect from the Parramatta Eels in the upcoming season?
Kennedy: "Last season was a delayed season. We had a lot of adversity against our team - we had a few injuries, and we were the last team to meet up as a whole. No excuses for our result but now we know the adjustments we must make in our game. Taking the experience and the confidence and fixing up a few things. I know with the few new signings we have coming in it's only going to create more depth to our team. And I'm still as biased as ever - Parramatta all the way!"
Featured Image Credit: Supplied/Parramatta Eels
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