The NRL has retained the four-team women’s NRL premiership, that includes the New Zealand Warriors, to run in unison with the men’s final series as well as Indigenous and Maori All Star sides for the double-header tournament in mid-February.
The NRL released their 2019 women’s fixture list which does not include any additional teams or playing rounds. The organisation has confirmed the return of the stand-alone State of Origin clash at North Sydney Oval for June 21.
Last year’s inaugural women’s match between NSW and Queensland was hailed a raging success, attracting almost 7000 fans and a television broadcast audience of 700,000 as the Blues prevailed 16-10.
“It’s been pleasing to witness the increasing groundswell of support for women’s rugby league,” NRL women’s elite program GM Tiffany Slater said.
“The focus for 2019 is to consolidate on the success of this year and continue to grow our game.”
Four international women’s teams will feature at the already-announced World Cup Nines competition in October.
An end-of-season Test match between the Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns is also likely to be added into the calendar to round out the year.
Slater hinted any potential expansion of the women’s NRL fixture list in future would be largely dependent on the response of the public.
“The more support that women’s rugby league gains along the way, the greater the long-term opportunities and increased competition,” she said.