The teams to compete in this years inaugural WNRL have been announced, with four teams being named.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg made the announcement today, and said that decision to have four teams instead of six was made to reduce player burn out, and that the four teams were chosen for mostly geographical reasons.
The Sydney Roosters, St George Illawarra Dragons, Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors were awarded licenses, with the Cronulla Sharks, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Newcastle Knights surprisingly missing out despite having strong teams in the Harvey Normal NSW Women’s premiership and Tarsha Gale 9s.
In its opening year, the season will be much shorter, with games being played as openers to the Men’s finals series and the Grand finals being played as a double-header.
The WNRL is not only a major step for women in league, but also a big part in what will be a massive year for women’s rugby league. There will be a National Challenge with teams from around the country competing from the 1st till 3rd of June, and the Interstate Challenge will now become a stand alone State of Origin match on the 22nd of June. There will also be multiple test matches, including ones in the Pacific and New Zealand in October, and new pathways for women from juniors to representative.
The squads are expected to be named in the coming months.