• The Jillaroos are the defending Rugby League World Cup Champions (AAP)
The Women's Rugby League World Cup kicks off on Thursday in Sydney with the Jillaroos hoping to win the tournament.
By
Adrian Arciuli

3 DAYS AGO  UPDATED 1 DAY AGO

The Jillaroos hope the World Cup will help the push to form a women's national rugby league competition.

Six countries will take part in the Women's Rugby League World Cup, which kicks off on Thursday in Sydney, with Australia looking to retain the Cup on home soil.

Jillaroos co-captain Renae Kunst said getting a women's NRL competition was one of the team's main goals.

"That's the vision of this team, this current team, is to showcase a great product in hopes of gaining that respect from the broader public in taking it to the next level," she told SBS World News.

"So that's ultimately what we are wanting to do here."

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Kunst said the game had given her so much off and on the field.

"I'd forever be grateful for rugby league and I really hope if this can inspire, if we as a team can inspire any girls to pick up a football to get outside to play any game then we've certainly done a good job at that," she said.

But it has not always been an easy journey for the players.

Unlike their male counterparts who earn $20,000 per match, the Jillaroos are still unpaid professionals.

Fullback Sam Bremner says players have made sacrifices in order to represent Australia.

"A lot of the girls have children which they have months apart from," Bremner said.

"We have jobs and... not seeing families, not going to weddings, sacrificing money and leave... I could go on forever there choices that we make."

Talesha Quinn considered leaving the army last year just so she could play in the World Cup.

"I was willing to quit my job up in Townsville at the end of last year because I knew how massive this year for league would be in women's," Quinn said.

"So the army got on board with me though... so they got me a posting down here [in Sydney] to be able to play footy all year.

"I'm actually getting paid full-time to be here so I'm actually technically on duty to play football.

"But other girls don't have that opportunity so I'm just really, really lucky that the army got behind me for that."

The women's final will be played before the men's decider in Brisbane on December 2.