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NRLW 2025 expansion - Bulldogs & Warriors

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NRL statement

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has approved the continued expansion of the NRL Telstra Women's Premiership from 2025.

The Commission has confirmed that the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the New Zealand Warriors will be part of an expanded 12-team 2025 Premiership.

The Warriors had previously been part of the competition up until 2020, however were forced to withdraw through COVID. The addition of the Bulldogs will further expand the footprint of the women's game while allowing more elite pathways for female players in the thriving Western Sydney market.

The NRL and Clubs have worked closely together during the past months to develop an expansion plan that will allow the women's game to continue to grow and thrive not only in Australia but also throughout the Pacific.

Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Mr Peter V'landys AM said it was important to provide certainty for the growth of the women's game, and for growth at all levels from grassroots through to the elite.

"The women's game has gone to another level with the skill level and quality of the games being extraordinary. This is evidenced by the popularity of the NRLW competition," Mr V'landys said.

"Last year over a million viewers tuned in to watch the NRLW Grand Final, and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better competition in 2025.

"Investments into participation and pathways will ensure that new teams are competitive as soon as they enter the competition."

National Rugby League CEO Andrew Abdo said the expansion of the NRLW Premiership to a 12-team competition was another important milestone in the code's strategic growth plan.

He said the awarding of these licenses was strongly focussed on geography and timing, including participation, pathways and infrastructure.

"This is an exciting moment for the Telstra Women's Premiership, as we continue to build on the momentum built from previous seasons," Mr Abdo said.

"The return of the Warriors is an important strategic boost for the women's game in New Zealand, while the Bulldogs are adding the final step to their program after years of strong investment in the women's game.

"We are working closely with each and every Club to build a comprehensive strategic plan for the NRLW and the women's game.

"The plan with Clubs will see further expansion opportunities in the coming years, for which we have seen strong interest and detailed business plans from all 17 Clubs. We are looking forward to working with Clubs on each of the individual programs over the next couple of years."

Mr Abdo acknowledged and thanked major partners for their investment including naming rights partner Telstra and broadcasters Nine, Fox Sports, and Sky Sport New Zealand.

 
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10$ Ferret

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I am glad that the Warriors are back and happy for the Bulldogs considering their investment
 

ALX25

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Wonder if the Bulldogs will be able to get back the Tauaneai sisters from the Dragons?
 
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And Haneen Zreika from AFL.
We`ve seen Israel Folau, Karmicheal Hunt, and some bloke they were crowing about in the papers during the week who had been playing League a month ago and now was making his debut for some fumbleball club, not to mention the woman you referred to and I`m sure I`ve read about other girls who have gone over successfully. What does it say we never see the reverse.
Can you imagine a League player walking into a first-grade soccer team, even our poxy A-League they couldn`t. Really does show that just about anyone with a bit of athleticism can play that game.
 
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We`ve seen Israel Folau, Karmicheal Hunt, and some bloke they were crowing about in the papers during the week who had been playing League a month ago and now was making his debut for some fumbleball club, not to mention the woman you referred to and I`m sure I`ve read about other girls who have gone over successfully. What does it say we never see the reverse.
Can you imagine a League player walking into a first-grade soccer team, even our poxy A-League they couldn`t. Really does show that just about anyone with a bit of athleticism can play that game.
An AFL bloke had a crack at the 2020 NRL 9s in Perth. Can't remember the name. Supposedly quite well-known, according to Fox League pundits. Didn't go well.

As a viewer, I've made genuine attempts to get into Fumble. First time was in the 1980s, when a niche UK FTA channel broadcast a VFL highlights package. Could not, and still cannot, see the appeal. Just comes across as a madcap mélange of other sports.

Worth considering though whether the bits-and-pieces nature of AFL assists their expansion drive. As you say, almost anyone can give Fumble a go. By contrast, the percentage of any populace able and willing to handle such a heavy-contact sport like RL is prohibitively small. Explains why our game so often struggles to grow in new territories.

PVL and Abdo are clearly determined to bring Tag and Touch into the RL fold. Where these forms always belonged. The penny has even dropped at the notoriously ponderous RFL that putting all our eggs in the Tackle basket is not the way to maximize participation. Especially among women and girls. Bit of an uphill battle, but more English clubs and orgs are forging links with non-contact "Rugby" communities.
 

10$ Ferret

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We`ve seen Israel Folau, Karmicheal Hunt, and some bloke they were crowing about in the papers during the week who had been playing League a month ago and now was making his debut for some fumbleball club, not to mention the woman you referred to and I`m sure I`ve read about other girls who have gone over successfully. What does it say we never see the reverse.
Can you imagine a League player walking into a first-grade soccer team, even our poxy A-League they couldn`t. Really does show that just about anyone with a bit of athleticism can play that game.
Haneen has been playing RL since she was a young kid. She has fitted in a few years of HN when she was able to to with her AFLW commitments. Lets not forget she also played Tarsha Gale for the Bulldogs as well
 

10$ Ferret

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What is interesting, as I understand it Barry Ward has been instrumental in the woman's game at the Bulldogs, they have achieved great success in the LF and TG comps and now have been granted an NRLW license but they sack him.
Stinks of Gould games
 
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