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NRL Women's Premiership

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NRL Women's Premiership (NRLW)
Current season or competition:
2019 NRL Women's season
Holden NRL Women's Premiership Logo.png
SportRugby league
Instituted6 December 2017
Inaugural season2018
CEOTodd Greenberg
Number of teams4
Countries Australia (3 teams)
 New Zealand (1 team)
Brisbane colours.svg
Brisbane Broncos (2nd title) (2019)
Most titles
Brisbane colours.svg
Brisbane Broncos (2 titles)
Broadcast partner
Related competitionNational Rugby League
NSWRL Women's Premiership
QRL Women's Premiership
Tarsha Gale Cup

The NRL Women's Premiership (NRLW) is Australia's national rugby league competition for female players. The first season of the league began in September 2018 with four teams. The league is run by the National Rugby League (NRL) and is contested by a subset of clubs from that competition. The current premiers are the Brisbane Broncos.[1]


In 2016, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and St. George Illawarra Dragons contested a Women's Nine's match, which served as a curtain-raiser to the NRL match between the Sharks and Sydney Roosters, at Southern Cross Group Stadium. The Sharks won the match 16–12.[2][3]

In March 2017, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks played another Women's Nine's match, this time defeating the Canberra Raiders by 28–10.[4]


On 6 December 2017, shortly after the conclusion of the 2017 Women's Rugby League World Cup, which concluded with the Jillaroos defeating the New Zealand Ferns by 23–16 in the final,[5] it was announced by the National Rugby League that the inaugural NRL Women's season would operate in a round-robin format, and be held in August 2018, towards the back end of the men's season, with some matches to be played as curtain-raisers to NRL finals matches. The Grand Final, which will be contested between the top two teams at the end of the round robin stage, will be played on the same day as the men's Grand Final. It was also announced that a stand-alone State of Origin match would also be contested in the representative weekend, in June.[6]

The Newcastle Knights, St. George Illawarra Dragons,[7][8][9] Brisbane Broncos, New Zealand Warriors,[10] Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks[11] all declared their interest in applying for a licence to participate in the inaugural NRL Women's competition.[12] Other clubs, such as the Melbourne Storm,[13] Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, Gold Coast Titans, Canberra Raiders, Wests Tigers, Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, all decided to delay bidding until at least the next season, citing money and time constraints.[14]

On 27 March 2018, the National Rugby League announced that the Brisbane Broncos, New Zealand Warriors, St. George Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters had won bids to participate in the inaugural NRL Women's competition, to commence in September 2018.[15][16]


NRL Women's operates on a single table system, with no divisions, conferences nor promotion and relegation from other leagues.

The competition's 4 teams are based across 2 states of Australia and 1 region in New Zealand.

Current clubs

Club State Nation Est. First exhibition
Brisbane colours.svg
Brisbane Broncos
Queensland Australia 1988 2018 Paul Dyer
New Zealand colours.svg
New Zealand Warriors
Auckland Region New Zealand 1995 2018 Luisa Avaiki
St. George colours.svg
St. George Illawarra Dragons
New South Wales Australia 1999 2016 2018 Daniel Lacey
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg
Sydney Roosters
New South Wales Australia 1908 2018 Adam Hartigan
Locations of the participating clubs


Members of the St. George Illawarra Dragons NRL Women's team assemble outside Jubilee Oval during a promotional appearance in August 2018
Members of the St. George Illawarra Dragons NRL Women's team assemble outside Jubilee Oval during a promotional appearance in August 2018

The club's playing lists were constructed from scratch through the later stages of 2018. All participants in the 2018 season were required to be over the age of 17.

Initially, clubs were asked to nominate a list of desired players, with the NRL assigning two of these "marquee" players to each club. In addition, clubs were able to sign a number of players with existing connections to the club, or with arrangements for club sponsored work or study.


NRL Women's Premiership hands contracts to 40 elite women players.[17][18][19]

Season structure


Prior to the commencement of the home-and-away season teams are paired off to play an exhibition trial match.

Premiership season

The season operates using a Round-robin format, with the top two finishing teams to contest the Grand Final which is to be held on the same day as the men's NRL Grand Final.[6] The draw is structured around the men's finals series.[20]

The rules and regulations are mostly the same as in the men's game, with a few exceptions:[21]

  • matches are sixty minutes long, with thirty minutes in each half;
  • ten interchanges in each match, with an additional two during golden point; and
  • a 40/30 kick advantage providing for tactical kicking and unpredictability during matches.


In October 2018, NRL announced the inaugural edition of Rugby League World Cup 9s in Western Sydney on 18–19 October 2019, featuring 12 international men's teams and 4 women's teams.[22] This would be around one month after the Women's Grand Final and preseason tournament Auckland Nines in previous years was replaced.

Premiership winners

Season Grand Finals Minor Premiers
Premiers Score Runners-up
Brisbane colours.svg
Brisbane Broncos
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg
Sydney Roosters
Brisbane colours.svg
Brisbane Broncos (6 pts)
2019 Brisbane Broncos 30-6 St. George Illawarra Dragons


The following major individual awards and accolades are presented each season:

  • Best & Fairest Trophy – to the best and fairest player in the league, voted by the referees
  • Leading Try Award – to the player who scores the most tries during the home-and-away season
  • Rookie of the Year – [23]
  • Karyn Murphy Medal – the best player on the ground in the Grand Final, voted by a committee of media members[24]

Media coverage


In its inaugural season all matches will be televised live by affiliate partners the Nine Network and Fox League.[25]


The official internet/mobile broadcast partner of the NRL is 9Now and BigPond, part of Telstra. The company hosts the league website as well as those of each of the four participation clubs. The NRL has retained digital broadcast rights to matches in the league's inaugural season and will stream all matches live and free on the league website and mobile app.

Outside Australia, the inaugural season is available on Watch NRL.

Corporate relations


Holden is the league's current and inaugural naming rights partner.[26][27]

All playing and training equipment as well as all licensed apparel and hats for the league's four clubs are manufactured by Nike.

Other league sponsors include Rebel Sport,[28] Harvey Norman and Kellogg's.

The official ball supplier is Steeden.[29]


Official match day attire together with other club merchandise is sold through the NRL's stores and website as well through the clubs and through some retailers.

See also


  1. ^ Newton, Alicia (30 September 2018). "Broncos smash Roosters to win inaugural NRLW". Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  2. ^ Lulham, Amanda (29 August 2016). "Women's rugby league passes test with flying colours as Cronulla beat Dragons in historic nines match". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  3. ^ Carayannis, Michael (27 August 2016). "The Sharks have beaten the Dragons 16–12 in a historic NRL womens nines match". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  4. ^ Coman, James (11 March 2017). "Women's Nines: Sharks defeat Raiders". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Women's Rugby League World Cup: Australia's Jillaroos beat New Zealand 23–16 in final to claim world title". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2 December 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b Bungard, Matt (6 December 2017). "NRL 2018: National women's competition set to run next season". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  7. ^ Bungard, Matt; Proszenko, Adrian (6 December 2017). "NRL 2018: Knights, Dragons first to declare bids for licences for women's tournament". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  8. ^ Jennings, Mitch (22 February 2018). "Apps backs Dragons women's NRL bid". Bega District News. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Dragons confirm interest in women's competition". 6 December 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  10. ^ Barnsley, Warren (20 December 2017). "New women's NRL excites Jillaroos but more details are needed, say players". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  11. ^ Bollen, Fiona (9 March 2018). "NRL women's comp starts 2018, what we know and don't know about it". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  12. ^ Perry, Jodan (6 December 2017). "NRL Women's Premiership a dream come true for Jillaroos hero Ruan Sims". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  13. ^ Cavanagh, Chris (6 December 2017). "Melbourne Storm pushing for team in new women's competition". Herald Sun. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  14. ^ "NRL left without women's team out west". Special Broadcasting Service. 17 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  15. ^ Arnold, Rikki-Lee (19 March 2018). "Broncos win spot in NRL women's competition". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  16. ^ Newton, Alicia (27 March 2018). "Geographic location the focus as NRL women's teams announced". Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  17. ^ "NRL women get elite contracts".
  18. ^ "NRL 2018 salary cap: NRL, RLPA agree to new pay deal for players". 3 November 2017.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Panthers and Dragons looking to find form before finals". The Roar. 29 August 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  21. ^ Newton, Alicia (4 September 2018). "What you need to know: NRL Holden Women's Premiership". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  22. ^ "RLIF welcomes announcement of Downers Rugby League World Cup 9s". RLIF. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  23. ^ "Women's Rugby League".
  24. ^ "NRL announces Karyn Murphy medal for women's best". National Rugby League. 3 September 2018.
  25. ^ "Nine reveal exciting 2018 rugby league coverage".
  26. ^ "NRL Holden Women's Premiership teams announced". National Rugby League. 26 March 2018.
  27. ^ "NRL Holden Women's Premiership teams announced". 28 March 2018.
  28. ^ "NRL and Rebel announce partnership". National Rugby League. 7 September 2018.
  29. ^

External links

This page was last edited on 23 January 2020, at 17:05
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