NRL Womens Premiership Expands to 6 teams

11th June 2021

The NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership (NRLW) will expand to 6 teams in 2021 with the objective of expanding to 8 teams in 2022. In 2021 the NRLW will see the Gold Coast Titans, Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels join the competition. South Sydney and Cronulla-Sutherland are still excluded from the competition, after being refused entry during the formation of the competition. The Australian Rugby League Commission approved the expansion which will see the new clubs join the Brisbane Broncos, St George Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters for NRLW 2021. NRLW will commence alongside Round 23 of the Telstra Premiership, with each team playing each other once and the top four teams playing in semi-finals. The Grand Final will continue to be played on the same day as the NRL Grand Final. The number of games will increase from 7 to 18 this season and the number of playing weeks will increase from 4 to 7. The majority of NRLW matches will be played as double headers on the same day as NRL Telstra Premiership matches to maximise exposure for the competition.

Warriors Withdraw from NRLW

After being part of the foundation four clubs who entered the competition in 2018 the Warriors will not participate in the 2021 season because of uncertainty surrounding borders. The club is committed to returning to the competition next year. With the framework established for the 2021 season the NRL will work with the playing group and clubs on a contracting model.

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the expansion highlighted the success and growth of the women’s game. “Today is a really special day for the game. Women’s rugby league is the fastest growing part of our sport and it’s exciting to be in a position to expand the competition after the success of the last three seasons. The NRLW competition has produced some of the best athletes in Australia, it’s captivated a new fan base and today’s expansion will give more players the opportunity to play in an elite competition."

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