- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 27 March 2018, 1:59PM
The NRL has launched its strategic plan today for the next five years which includes a Warriors side in a new women's competition and possible expansion for a second team in New Zealand.
The strategic plan will focus on the women's game, stadia and expand the NRL.
As part of the annoucenment, the NRL revealed details of the first NRL Holden Women's Premiership, to be contested in 2018. The Premiership will feature four teams in the first year – the Broncos, Dragons, Roosters and Warriors.
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 Vodafone 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."
The NRL has also put expansion back on the table, with the new State Cup competitions providing a pathway for clubs seeking to be part of the NRL in the long-term. It will be open for teams from areas such as Perth, Country New South Wales, New Zealand and Ipswich.
Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman, Peter Beattie said rugby league had to grow to survive and the strategic plan was aimed at expanding the game at all levels.
He said a key pillar was participation, with the new ARL Commission setting this as a priority.
"As I have said consistently since taking the role, if we don't grow our game, it won't expand – and if we don't attract more young players, then our game dies," he said.
"And we are not going to allow that to happen."
The NRL will also revive the Hall of Fame concept.