Women’s Rugby League Nines tournament to begin this weekend

An exciting new tournament for women’s Rugby League kicks off this weekend in the shape of the Women’s Nines.

On Sunday, 20 teams will start the competition at Warrington’s Victoria Park with the aim of being among the six to qualify for the finals in Salford on Sunday 24 July.

All twelve Women’s Super League clubs will be involved, including Leeds Rhinos and St Helens a week before their Challenge Cup final.

The eight other teams to take part will be Bristol Golden Ferns, Cardiff Demons, Catalans Dragons, Hull FC, London Broncos, Oulton Raidettes, Salford Red Devils and Warrington Lunas.

Play will run from 10.30am to 4pm across three pitches but it will also be an occasion off the field with a festival feel, including three workshops focusing on the women’s game throughout the day.

“This is such an exciting initiative and I love the imagination that’s gone into it as well as a lot of hard work by all involved,” said RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer.

“I’ve always enjoyed Nines as a spectacle and this is perfect for women’s Rugby League in terms of bringing players and teams from different levels together for a real celebration of the sport.

“It also means that some of the young girls who are aiming to be the Women’s Super League stars of the future will be able to spend time on and off the field with our current superstars.

“Following on from the semi-finals of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup last weekend, which was a really uplifting occasion and again broadcast by BBC Sport, the Nines will provide more evidence of the progress that’s been made over the last few years – despite the significant disruption caused by Covid.

“Victoria Park is an ideal venue – one of the many Rugby League facilities that have been transformed by the CreatedBy funding from Sport England guaranteeing a legacy from the World Cup.”

Nines Rugby League matches are played over two nine-minute halves, with five points for a try scored in the bonus zone under the posts and two for a drop-kicked conversion attempt.

Squads will consist of up to 15 players, with unlimited interchanges allowed from the six-strong bench.