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NRLW Increases To 10 Teams In 2023


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I think there is a great opportunity for the women’s game to make a name for itself as the most elite women’s rugby competition in the world.

Offering elite playing opportunities for the best female players the world over, including a player raid of the best RU talent, which would go a long way to rapidly expanding the nations to compete in the 2025 WRLWC.

Watch this space.

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It is happening.

Link in the women's section.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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25 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

I think there is a great opportunity for the women’s game to make a name for itself as the most elite women’s rugby competition in the world.

Offering elite playing opportunities for the best female players the world over, including a player raid of the best RU talent, which would go a long way to rapidly expanding the nations to compete in the 2025 WRLWC.

Watch this space.

It already is the most elite women's rugby comp in the world.

Have to say I am beyond disappointed that two more Sydney teams have been allowed in. This was a real chance to create a comp without all the horrible baggage of tradition.

Now we're just going to have NRL Lite.

Absolutely no vision.

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Fantastic news then as it is confirmed. I know they have took the slow approach but such a move is way overdue:

Canberra, Cronulla, North Queensland and Wests Tigers are set to enter the NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership after confirmation the competition will expand to 10 teams in 2023.

All four clubs have been granted a 2023 licence in an historic announcement made by the NRL on Wednesday. 

The NRLW was due to expand to eight teams next year but the ARL Commission was determined to fast-track the competition with an additional four sides.

NRLW: Cronulla Sharks, Canberra Raiders, North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers to join NRLW in 2023 - NRL

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Some great figures here. Its nice to see they are aiming to dominate the women's sports scene:

Abdo pointed to the increase from about 10,000 women’s rugby league players in 2018 – the NRLW’s first season – to almost 35,000 participants this year. The Tigers’ MacArthur and Balmain nursery (close to 1700 players), Canberra region (close to 1200 players with an additional 1200 Group 9 junior participants), Cronulla-Sutherland (about 1700 players) and Townsville and Far North Queensland districts (about 1200 players) all boast healthy junior catchments.

“We know we have enough athletes to sustain professional competition,” Abdo said. “This is quick, but it’s no quicker than we believe we can still produce a quality product.”

Abdo forecast further expansion beyond a 10-team competition in 2024 on the back of those figures and optimism about the NRLW’s value to broadcasters Fox Sports and Channel Nine.

The Rabbitohs are one outfit that has long held a desire to enter the NRLW competition after missing out with their initial bid in 2018. Abdo also said bringing the Warriors back into the NRLW fold was a priority given their footprint in New Zealand.

“Those clubs that submitted proposals, the next step is to engage with them and work with them to show that we can make that announcement as soon as possible,” Abdo said.

“We’ve had strong interest from almost every NRL club. It’s a question of how many.

“I’m pretty confident we’re going to be announcing a further expanded competition in 2024.”

A $350,000 salary cap for August’s six-team competition will see salaries increase by an average of 28 per cent, the NRL says. Ongoing CBA talks will dictate each club’s spending in 2023.

Industry sources have told the Herald that the next agreement will see salaries increase by at least that 28 per cent figure or more.

Abdo also indicated more marquee player spots would be considered in a bid to poach talent from rival codes.

The introduction of two marquee player spots – where only $16,000 of their salary is included in the cap – has resulted in greater player movement ahead of the 2022 season.

NRLW 2022: North Queensland Cowboys, Canberra Raiders, Cronulla Sharks and Wests Tigers to join competition in 2023 (smh.com.au)

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4 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

I think there is a great opportunity for the women’s game to make a name for itself as the most elite women’s rugby competition in the world.

Offering elite playing opportunities for the best female players the world over, including a player raid of the best RU talent, which would go a long way to rapidly expanding the nations to compete in the 2025 WRLWC.

Watch this space.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/nrlw-accelerates-expansion-with-four-new-clubs-in-2023-20220615-p5atui.html

It appears from this article that they will raid AFL as well as union.

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2 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Great stuff. Circa A$15k per player on average is a nice little earner. 

Whereas those lucky, lucky players picked for the England v whoever will play will earn…£500. 

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2 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Great stuff. Circa A$15k per player on average is a nice little earner. 

I can see a few British based women going out to the NRLW over the next couple of years.

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10 hours ago, Pulga said:

It already is the most elite women's rugby comp in the world.

Have to say I am beyond disappointed that two more Sydney teams have been allowed in. This was a real chance to create a comp without all the horrible baggage of tradition.

Now we're just going to have NRL Lite.

Absolutely no vision.

Maybe the most elite already, but there are not enough teams to entice the worlds best women of both codes, so the expansion does represent great opportunity.

What would your preference clubs have been? Remember there is significant value in using existing brands rather than new ones.

Which non Sydney clubs applications should have been accepted? Do you have any understanding about the history of the Cronulla Sharks Women’s programme leading up to now? If you did, I think you would be happy with that club’s inclusion.

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16 hours ago, Pulga said:

It already is the most elite women's rugby comp in the world.

Have to say I am beyond disappointed that two more Sydney teams have been allowed in. This was a real chance to create a comp without all the horrible baggage of tradition.

Now we're just going to have NRL Lite.

Absolutely no vision.

Yeah if the NRL had any intentions of the NRLW being anything more than a glorified publicity stunt then they would have capped the percentage of the competition that could be from Sydney at any one time, and the licenses would have been open to tender.

Unfortunately self interest and myopia rules the day in RL.

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6 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

What would your preference clubs have been?

If you were starting a 10 team NRL from scratch today it would look something like-

Sydney x2

Brisbane x2

Melbourne

Perth

Adelaide 

NZ

Regional x2

Now in the NRLW's case that probably wasn't going to be feasible, especially with the impact of covid, however the goal still should have been to get as close to that as possible. There also should have been a hard cap on the amount of Sydney clubs as well (probably 4-5), and there's no way that they should have ever been allowed to represent 50% of the competition at any one time.

6 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Remember there is significant value in using existing brands rather than new ones.

Myth. If it was true the NRLW teams would be significantly better supported than they actually are.

The NRL sides don't have a monopoly on popular existing brands either. The NRL would have got a ridiculous amount of publicity if the Bears and/or Newtown were given NRLW licenses for example, and there're plenty of other famous clubs and brands from around the country whom will/should never get a run in the NRL that the NRLW could have been the perfect format for as well.

6 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Which non Sydney clubs applications should have been accepted?

We'll never know because 99% of them were effectively barred from bidding.

6 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Do you have any understanding about the history of the Cronulla Sharks Women’s programme leading up to now? If you did, I think you would be happy with that club’s inclusion.

Doesn't give them a divine right to an NRLW license.

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2 hours ago, Damien said:

Here's me thinking going from 6 to 10 teams was a great thing.

Surely teams in Canberra and North Queensland would be in any national competition anyway.

Was mentioned on a radio broadcast that they want the salary cap up to $A2-3m within a couple of years. While here we are trying to bring it down in the men's game.

Very exciting news down under and it will be the number one code for women in Australia very soon.

Edited by Scubby
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2 hours ago, Damien said:

Surely teams in Canberra and North Queensland would be in any national competition anyway.

Maybe, but Cronulla, Bondi, Kogarah, and Balmain/Campbelltown probably wouldn't be in most national competitions, or at the very least not all of them.

In RL you'd probably ideally spilt Sydney into 4 or 5 regions each with a single representative- north, south, east, and west, or inner west and outer west. That split was totally achievable in the NRLW, and the only reason it didn't happen is because of myopia and self interest.

To give you an analogy; it'd be like a supposedly national competition in the US that has the five boroughs of New York represented but no teams in LA, Chicago, and Dallas.

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3 hours ago, Damien said:

Here's me thinking going from 6 to 10 teams was a great thing.

Surely teams in Canberra and North Queensland would be in any national competition anyway.

It is terrific news.  An expanding elite women's competition and a pathway for the best female athletic talent in Australia to play Rugby League as their sport of choice.

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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11 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

It is terrific news.  An expanding elite women's competition and a pathway for the best female athletic talent in Australia to play Rugby League as their sport of choice.

Be interesting to see an update to this page:

https://daniellewarby.com/how-much-do-australian-sportswomen-get-paid/

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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29 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Be interesting to see an update to this page:

https://daniellewarby.com/how-much-do-australian-sportswomen-get-paid/

The AFL seems to be throwing heaps of money at the AFLW and hoping a base builds. The actual quality of the AFLW is also really low. It’s genuinely appalling to watch compared to the men in terms of match flow and basic skills.

The nrl is growing the NRLW slowly with emphasis on quality and it’s already out rating the AFLW.

The AFLW however is all PR, noise, marketing, media attention and lots of money… it’s taken its own approach to growth.

The NRLW is catching up but they started a few steps behind the AFLW.

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15 minutes ago, Copa said:

The AFL seems to be throwing heaps of money at the AFLW and hoping a base builds. The actual quality of the AFLW is also really low. It’s genuinely appalling to watch compared to the men in terms of match flow and basic skills.

The nrl is growing the NRLW slowly with emphasis on quality and it’s already out rating the AFLW.

The AFLW however is all PR, noise, marketing, media attention and lots of money… it’s taken its own approach to growth.

The NRLW is catching up but they started a few steps behind the AFLW.

I think the afl are throwing heaps of money at the aflw - $40 000 minimum wage now - because they know that if they don`t attract the best sports women in Oz, and attract them quick, their product will remain rubbish. 

Not having anything at all to offer their female players on the international stage has to be compensated for as well.

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