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NRLW to expand in 2023 and 24

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The Australian Rugby League Commission has approved the expansion of the NRL Telstra Women's Premiership, Ampol Women's State of Origin and the introduction of a salary cap system which will increase average salaries by 28%.

To ensure new teams have time to prepare and allow further talent development, the 2022 NRLW season will remain at six teams before expanding to eight teams in 2023 and 10 teams in 2024. The Commission will determine new licences by July this year.

For the 2022 season, NRLW teams will move to a salary cap system with the salary cap set at $350,000 per team. The new system will increase average salaries by 28% and clubs will also be given the ability to contract up to two marquee players as full-time employees with additional salary cap dispensation. Private Health insurance will also be covered for all contracted NRLW players.

In 2022 Representative payments will increase substantially. State of Origin match payments will increase from $4000 to $6000 while All Stars payments will increase from $1,600 to $3000. From 2023, the Ampol Women's State of Origin will expand to a 2-game stand alone series, with both games aired live on free-to-air television.

The Commission has also approved substantial increases in investment of junior female participation and pathways programs, including national age group championships as well as coaching and referee academies.

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the Commission is committed to a sustainable growth strategy of the women's game from grassroots participation to the elite level.

"Today is an exciting day for the women's game. We're expanding to eight teams in 2023 and 10 teams in 2024. We're also introducing a salary cap for next season and creating the opportunity for more players to access full time employment through their club,'' he said.

"The expansion of the NRLW competition and the introduction of the salary cap will ensure players earn substantially more income from our game.

There's still a long way to go but this is another positive step in our growth journey for the NRLW.
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo


"We're experiencing significant growth in television audiences and that's down to the players and the Commission will continue to invest and support that success.

"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."

Mr Abdo said all existing NRL Clubs would have the ability to submit applications to join the 2023 or 2024 seasons. The NRL will work with interested clubs over the coming months with the Commission to make final assessments and approve licence applications in July.

The Commission will focus on investment in female pathways to ensure the playing talent pool continues to grow.

"Today is not just about the elite game, it's also about building stronger participation and pathways," he said.

"The Commission is focussed on building the women's game from the bottom up. Not just encouraging more participation as players but also more female coaches and female referees. Right across the game we will continue to work to create pathways for women regardless of whether they want to play, coach, referee or be an administrator."

Mr Abdo thanked the NRLW playing group and RLPA for their input throughout the process.

"I want to thank our players. They were incredibly patient while we ensured we could launch a 2021 season which gave everyone the opportunity to play and we've had really constructive conversations with the RLPA about the next steps in our growth strategy," he said.

"I also want to acknowledge our partners. Particularly Telstra along with Nine and Fox Sports who are incredibly committed to growing, investing and promoting the women's game."
 

Nuke

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Good stuff.

So 4 clubs entering in the coming years. Between the clubs keen to be in and the NRL's seeming preference to spread the clubs out (at least in the earlier stages), shall we take a stab at these next four NRLW teams?

In no particular order, I'd guess:

NZ Warriors returning
Nth Qld Cowboys (Cowgirls??)
Cronulla Sharks
Redcliffe Dolphins

With Canberra and Sth Sydney my next-in-line after that.
 
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mongoose

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I'd like to see Melbourne and NZ (returning)

I think Canberra and Penrith have the funds and resources to run a womens team
 

ALX25

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NQ Gold Stars
Canberra Raiders or Cronulla Sharks?

Allow the Warriors some more time.
 

wazdog

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Hoping the Rabbitohs are successful in their bid.

The High Performance centre will be completed late this year and has facilities included for a NRLW team.

The club has also been selling add on women's membership for a number of years now. I'm not sure how many they've sold but its definitely upwards of 500.

 

10$ Ferret

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From what I understand Canberra and North Queensland are high on the list.
I would not be surprised to see another Brisbane team come in.
I hope the Warriors return and the Tigers get a gig due to the investment they have put in.
I am not sure that Penrith are that interested, hope that changes.

I do think that Souths and Cronulla will struggle to get in for a while. While geography will play a factor, both will need to change their approach if they want a successful application. Souths especially will have to lose the sense of entitlement that was in their first attempt
 

The Great Dane

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Not one should go to Sydney or Brisbane unless there's no other choice. Spread the love around now, worry about overhyped derbies later.

Ideally the NRL would consider independent bids as well, but though they may pay it lip service, this sport is simply too short sighted and risk averse to take that route unfortunately.
 

Iamback

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No money in it for independent bids.

Basically pay $500k and no home games or that to recoup the money
 

The Great Dane

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No money in it for independent bids.

Basically pay $500k and no home games or that to recoup the money
:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Obviously if you were going to allow independent bids you'd have to allow them to host their own home games...

I know taking the NRLW seriously as product (instead of a glorified publicity stunt) and treating it with respect is a novel idea, but it is doable.
 

10$ Ferret

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I have read a few comments on social media saying expansion is not happening fast enough and we have all these great 16/17 year olds coming through.
I disagree as these 16/17 years are very good 16/17 year olds but from experience only a handful will be ready for the NRLW by the time they are 19. These same people are also whinging about the spread of elite players saying its unfair. Well the new teams will be rubbish if they are not allowed to have some elite players.

We do have to bring on these young players but get them ready and it wont happen straight away. Expand too soon and you will end up with and NRLW at the standard of the NHWP NSW comp. Which is good at times but not good enough for a national product and well despite what Brigginshaw says the QLD comp is an even lower std. Hell look at the QLD U19 women's comp they have 3 games and there are some serious blowouts. Hardly a good base to develop more NRLW players from
 

Iamback

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I have read a few comments on social media saying expansion is not happening fast enough and we have all these great 16/17 year olds coming through.
I disagree as these 16/17 years are very good 16/17 year olds but from experience only a handful will be ready for the NRLW by the time they are 19. These same people are also whinging about the spread of elite players saying its unfair. Well the new teams will be rubbish if they are not allowed to have some elite players.

We do have to bring on these young players but get them ready and it wont happen straight away. Expand too soon and you will end up with and NRLW at the standard of the NHWP NSW comp. Which is good at times but not good enough for a national product and well despite what Brigginshaw says the QLD comp is an even lower std. Hell look at the QLD U19 women's comp they have 3 games and there are some serious blowouts. Hardly a good base to develop more NRLW players from

You need the comp to stand on it's feet 1st. There are many tiers between good mens 17 year olds and NRL.

I like that the regional sides are coming in 1st to get a national footprint
 

Iamback

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:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Obviously if you were going to allow independent bids you'd have to allow them to host their own home games...

I know taking the NRLW seriously as product (instead of a glorified publicity stunt) and treating it with respect is a novel idea, but it is doable.

Most are publicity stunts though

you want the sponsors and broadcasters to pay money. you need to have something and the NRL names are an easy sell
 

ALX25

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Which is good at times but not good enough for a national product and well despite what Brigginshaw says the QLD comp is an even lower std. Hell look at the QLD U19 women's comp they have 3 games and there are some serious blowouts. Hardly a good base to develop more NRLW players from

Agree with this. There should be more games played to give squad members an equal chance of playing. Three games isn't enough.
 

The Great Dane

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Most are publicity stunts though
That doesn't mean that they have to be, should be, or that it is good that they are.
you want the sponsors and broadcasters to pay money. you need to have something and the NRL names are an easy sell
f**k me you've got no faith in the game as a product do you.

A national women's competition run/supported by the NRL would have been enough to draw broadcaster and sponsor interest in the current political climate. You could have had teams called anything from anywhere and there would have been interest at least initially. Play your cards right and it could have been used to engage niche audiences that either haven't been engaged in the mainstream for decades (Bears, Jets, BRL clubs, etc) or never have been and can't support NRL sides, which would be killing two birds with one stone.

Instead, as always, we were lazy and went for the cheapest option instead of thinking it through and building it for long term growth and success.
 

Iamback

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?That doesn't mean that they have to be, should be, or that it is good that they are.

f**k me you've got no faith in the game as a product do you.

A national women's competition run/supported by the NRL would have been enough to draw broadcaster and sponsor interest in the current political climate. You could have had teams called anything from anywhere and there would have been interest at least initially. Play your cards right and it could have been used to engage niche audiences that either haven't been engaged in the mainstream for decades (Bears, Jets, BRL clubs, etc) or never have been and can't support NRL sides, which would be killing two birds with one stone.

Instead, as always, we were lazy and went for the cheapest option instead of thinking it through and building it for long term growth and success.

How does NSW Cup/QLD cup rate?

I am presuming the games will stay in the afternoon timeslot?

It isn't like womens cricket that gets virtually no competition

you have RL fans that have supported their NRL side for years to potential clash in timeslots

AFL fans won't not watch their side play to watch a foreign code just because it is females

The market place is crammed

so aligning with an NRL side makes sense. As does doing the regional sides before all of Sydney
 
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