Via Warriors and NRL Media
Involvement in the new NRL women’s premiership has been hailed by Warriors executive chairman Jim Doyle as the launching pad for significant growth of women’s rugby league throughout New Zealand.
The Warriors have today been confirmed as one of four clubs – along with Brisbane Broncos, St George Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters – in the trailblazing competition which will run over a four-week period alongside the 2018 NRL finals.
“With the success the Kiwi Ferns have had, it’s logical to have one of the teams in New Zealand while it’s also tremendous for our brand to be able to embrace the community in the fullest sense,” said Doyle.
“The board sees this as a huge opportunity to take the club and the game to new levels here by offering more pathways than ever for players in New Zealand. Not only that, this opens the door for new supporters and commercial opportunities.”
The @BrisbaneBroncos, @NRL_Dragons, @SydneyRoosters and @nzwarriors have been named as the teams that will compete as part of the inaugural #NRL @Holden_aus Women’s Premiership in 2018.https://t.co/XQSvnhJusJ#OurWay pic.twitter.com/gFJxH8jCpO
— NRL (@NRL) March 26, 2018
Warriors CEO Cameron George said taking up one of the four licences for the inaugural NRL women’s premiership was vital from a strategic viewpoint.
It means the Warriors will now have four teams under their umbrella in the NRL, the Intrust Super Premiership, the Jersey Flegg Cup under-20 competition and now the NRL women’s premiership.
“We put a lot of work into our bid once the women’s competition was announced and we couldn’t be more delighted to be taking up one of the spots,” said George.
George said while the women’s team was a Warriors entity, the local game would be involved.
“We’ve had some discussions with the New Zealand Rugby League and the Auckland Rugby League about the new competition and working together,” he said.
“The next steps will include assembling a squad and coaching staff, looking at sponsorship, a name for the team and much more.
“While there is much to be done, this is exciting for women’s rugby league across the board and especially in New Zealand.”
— Women's Rugby League (@WRugbyLeague) March 27, 2018
NRL boss Todd Greenberg hinted at rapid expansion for the women’s premiership.
“We think we’ve got the balance right for our first year and I would expect more NRL clubs to join the competition in the years ahead,” Greenberg said.
“The formation of a women’s premiership is one of the most exciting developments the game has seen.
“For the first time, our best female players will have the opportunity to play in an NRL competition – on the game’s biggest stage.”