The NRL has finally unveiled the four teams that will be taking part of the inaugural Women’s Premiership in 2018.
The Brisbane Broncos, St George-Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters and New Zealand Warriors have been named as the teams that will compete later this year.
“The formation of a women’s Premiership is one of the most exciting developments the game has seen,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said on Tuesday.
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“For the first time, our best female players will have the opportunity to play in an NRL competition – on the game’s biggest stage.”
It was originally expected six teams would be taking part but Mr Greenberg says they changed their mind to make sure the first year of competition was of the highest quality, whilst balancing player workload.
He said the NRL consulted with Jillaroos and other senior players, who wanted a strong competition with the very best players in action each week.
“They also wanted the teams involved to cover a wide geographical area,” he said.
“We think we’ve got the balance right for our first year and I would expect more NRL clubs to join the competition in the years ahead.”
“So it’s a big year ahead – and a really exciting year ahead – for our female rugby league players, as well as fans of our women’s game.”
NRL Senior Manager of the Women’s Elite Program, Tiffany Slater said the four NRL clubs would now embark on a process to contract players for the Premiership.
“The recent Women’s Rugby League World Cup tournament showcased exceptional playing skills across competing teams and we’re looking forward to many of those players participating as part of the Women’s Premiership this year,” Ms Slater said.
“We will be working alongside clubs between now and the Premiership to promote playing talent across the board, with the aim of developing an elite and exciting long-term competition.”