The brightest female talent in Country Rugby League – including in the Eurobodalla – will have the opportunity to test themselves on a national stage as part of a number of exciting announcements relating to the Women’s game.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said a new era in Women’s Rugby League would begin next year, with the NRL unveiling a program of events covering everything from an NRL Women’s Premiership, stand-alone State of Origin match, a National Championship and Jillaroos international matches.
Women blasted onto the Eurobodalla rugby league stage this year, with the Under 18s Tigers smashing Berkeley in the grand final of the regional contest.
Almost 50 per cent of all nationally registered female players competed in CRL tackle and tag competitions, and more than 1800 players competed in CRL Women’s Nines competitions in 2017.
Country Rugby League will field a side in the new National Championships in June, 2018, and feature over 120 players from across Australia, along with taking on City in an interstate clash in the lead-up to the Women’s State of Origin.
The NRL is determined to give female players new opportunities to perform
These initiatives, along with current CRL Women’s Nines competitions, will provide regional players with a direct pathway opportunity from grassroots to elite level football.
CRL will host trials for the Country Women’s side to take on City and compete in the National Championships in February and March. A new NRL Women's Premiership will also be launched, with Greenberg confirming details of the new competition, which will feature up to six teams playing in the lead-up to and during the NRL finals. Greenberg also announced that 40 players would be offered Jillaroos contracts, which would include match payments.
The NRL boss said the women’s game was the game’s fastest growing participation segment.
The NRL is determined to give female players new opportunities to perform.
"For the first time, there will be a dedicated pathway for our women to follow – from grassroots junior league, to State Competitions, and on to Premiership matches and representative Origin and Test match opportunities," Greenberg said.
"The Women's game has become an attraction in its own right and anyone who has seen the Jillaroos in action cannot help but be impressed by the skills and athleticism on display.
"The NRL is determined to provide the right channels for women to follow and play rugby league – and today is a great starting point for that program."