The NRL has announced its inaugural women’s competition which will begin in 2018 with NRL CEO Todd Greenberg saying 40 Australian Jillaroos players would be awarded contracts.
“For the first time, there will be a dedicated pathway for our women to follow – from grassroots junior league, to State Competitions, and on to Premiership matches and representative Origin and Test match opportunities,” Greenberg said.
“The Women’s game has become an attraction in its own right and anyone who has seen the Jillaroos in action cannot help but be impressed by the skills and athleticism on display.
“The NRL is determined to provide the right channels for women to follow and play rugby league – and today is a great starting point for that program.”
The new program would also include:
– A stand-alone State of Origin match (formerly known as the Interstate Challenge) between New South Wales and Queensland, played during the NRL’s representative weekend in mid-June.
– State League competitions, with Grand Finals to be played as double-headers prior to Women In League Round matches.
– A National Championships Carnival and Talent Combine, congregating the best state talent on a national stage and providing a sequential pathway for female players to progress to the elite level.
– The Jillaroos playing international matches in the Pacific and New Zealand.