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Brisbane Broncos' Julia Robinson calls out body-shamers ahead of NRLW season opener this weekend

The picture that prompted trolls to criticise Julia Robinson for being too fit. (Facebook: Brisbane Broncos)

The body-shaming of Brisbane Broncos winger Julia Robinson has sparked an outcry of support from her teammates and opponents. 

Robinson used her Instagram story to share Facebook comments from people criticising her appearance at Broncos NRLW training, saying she was too muscular and built like a man.

The Maroons winger wrote on her story that she usually ignores this type of trolling, but felt the need to speak out this time.

"I just wanted to say that no-one should be ashamed or self-conscious to have muscles," she wrote.

"It shows dedication and hard work. I love my muscles."

Brisbane recruit Jaime Chapman was one of the first to back up her wing partner, saying, "this shit happens way too often", with many others joining the chorus.

Men's Wests Tigers player Jackson Hastings expressed his anger on Twitter, saying it was particularly egregious this week of all weeks, when mental health should be the focus for everyone in rugby league after premiership-winning coach Paul Green took his own life.

He also said Robinson, who blacked out the commenters' names in her Instagram story, should feel free to "name and shame" the "losers".

The Broncos put out a statement saying they "strongly condemn belittling social media comments aimed at our three-time premiership winner".

"There is absolutely no room for these attitudes and actions anywhere in our game," the club said.

"We are incredibly proud of Julia and our NRLW athletes who continue to change the game on and off the field."

Brisbane chief executive Dave Donaghy said the entire team was "angered" by the comments and stood behind Robinson.

"Julia is one of the hardest workers in both our men's and women's program, and her consistently elite performances on the field reflect the effort she puts into her training and preparation," he said.

"That's not to mention the widespread work she does in the community, and the inspiration she gives to young athletes, both boys and girls.

"Surely our society has moved beyond athletes and role models like Julia being belittled for a photo that showcases everything that is great about our sport."

The 2022 NRLW season kicks off this weekend, with the Eels playing the Roosters on Saturday afternoon, before the Dragons host the Titans in Wollongong at midday on Sunday and the Broncos wrap up the round against the Knights in Newcastle on Sunday night.

It marks the start of the second NRLW season this year after the postponed 2020 season was played from February to April.

There was also a women's Indigenous vs Māori All Stars clash in February, a women's State of Origin clash in June and a World Cup after the season.

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