Jets set to make history with first all-female commentary crew

The Newtown Jets are set to create a slice of history today when they hand over the commentary reins to an all-female commentary team.

ABC Grandstand presenter Debbie Spillane will lead the call, alongside Joanna Lester and Melinda Farrell. It’s believed to be the first time an all-female crew will commentate a rugby league match in the world, when the Jets take on the Illawarra Cutters at 3PM at Henson park.

Spillane is one of Australia’s first female sports journalists, and has called rugby league, soccer and cricket for the ABC and commercial radio stations. Lester was a member of the BBC Radio 5Live commentary team for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup in Europe and covers rugby league for ABC Radio Australia and various print media. Farrell is a freelance journalist and broadcaster who has worked extensively in rugby league, covering the NRL and the Super League.

The call is in support of the McGrath Foundation, and fans can listen to the call over at or if they’re at the game they can purchase a set of “Jets Ears”, a sports ears-style set of headphones, to listen at Henson.

To donate to the McGrath Foundation via the Newtown Jets all-female commentary online fundraising page, please visit: and follow the McGrath Foundation links.


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