“Today is an exciting day” NRL confirms huge changes to women’s comp

The NRL has announced a number of huge changes to the women’s competition in what’s being hailed as an “exciting” day for women in Rugby League.

In 2023, the NRLW competition will expand from six teams to eight, before expanding again to 10 teams in 2024.

At the moment, the competition consists of the Titans, Broncos, Dragons, Roosters, Knights and Eels.


All other clubs will have the ability to submit applications to join the 2023 or 2024 seasons, with the Australian Rugby League Commission to make a decision on the successful clubs in July.

In another major move, the NRL has introduced a salary cap system, which will increase the average salaries of female players by 28%.

For the 2022 season, the salary cap will be set at $350,000, with clubs also given the ability to contract up to two marquee players on full-time contracts with additional salary cap dispensation.

State of Origin payments will also be boosted this year from $4000 to $6000, while All Stars payments will increase from $1,600 to $3000.

From next year, Women’s State of Origin will also expand to a 2-game series, with both games aired live on free-to-air television.

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo has labelled today’s announcements as “an exciting day for the women’s game”.

“The expansion of the NRLW competition and the introduction of the salary cap will ensure players earn substantially more income from our game,” Mr Abdo said.

“Importantly the announcements today are about ensuring a sustainable NRLW competition.

“We’ve always been very clear that we would ensure our playing talent is deep enough and our clubs are prepared before expanding.

“The lead-in time ahead of the next expansion phase will ensure our clubs have the right infrastructure in place and there is even more depth to our playing talent.”

The ARLC has also committed to investing in junior female participation and pathways programs, including national age-group championships as well as coaching and referee academies.

“Today is not just about the elite game, it’s also about building stronger participation and pathways,” Mr Abdo said.