Women's Rugby League World Cup ready to emerge from men's shadow

While the Rugby League World Cup has been underway since last month, the women's version is gearing up to get underway, and for the first time in its history it won't be overshadowed by the men's event.

For Kiwi Ferns captain Laura Manu, this year's tournament represents a significant milestone for the women's game, with the Women's World Cup a standalone event for the first time in its history.

"The game's evolving," she told 1 NEWS.

"It's just great to see more opportunities for our women, and that we're actually getting looked after - and the exposure is there."

Yet while the advances in the women's game have come a long way, problems still exist for the players - having to balance full time work or study in between representing their countries.

"It's been ridiculous actually," Kiwi Ferns coach Tony Benson said.

"We've had some ladies bring their children to training and put them in the boot of the car with the boot up and a video for the kids to watch on a mattress, and that's reality."

"I only admire all of them really for what they do."

So while things may not be perfect, this year's Women's World Cup represents a step in the right direction for the female game in general - something that can only be beneficial for the Kiwi Ferns in the long run.

For the first time, the Women's Rugby League World Cup is being held as a standalone event. Source: 1 NEWS