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The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has approved the continued expansion of the NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership from 2025.

The Commission has confirmed that the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the New Zealand Warriors will be part of an expanded 12-team 2025 Premiership.

The Warriors had previously been part of the competition up until 2020, however were forced to withdraw through COVID. The addition of the Bulldogs will further expand the footprint of the women’s game while allowing more elite pathways for female players in the thriving Western Sydney market.

The NRL and Clubs have worked closely together during the past months to develop an expansion plan that will allow the women’s game to continue to grow and thrive not only in Australia but also throughout the Pacific.

Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Mr Peter V’landys AM said it was important to provide certainty for the growth of the women’s game, and for growth at all levels from grassroots through to the elite.

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“The women’s game has gone to another level with the skill level and quality of the games being extraordinary. This is evidenced by the popularity of the NRLW competition,” Mr V’landys said.

“Last year over a million viewers tuned in to watch the NRLW Grand Final, and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better competition in 2025.

Investments into participation and pathways will ensure that new teams are competitive as soon as they enter the competition.

ARLC Chairman Peter V'landys AM

National Rugby League CEO Andrew Abdo said the expansion of the NRLW Premiership to a 12-team competition was another important milestone in the code’s strategic growth plan.

He said the awarding of these licenses was strongly focussed on geography and timing, including participation, pathways and infrastructure.

“This is an exciting moment for the Telstra Women’s Premiership, as we continue to build on the momentum built from previous seasons,” Mr Abdo said.

“The return of the Warriors is an important strategic boost for the women’s game in New Zealand, while the Bulldogs are adding the final step to their program after years of strong investment in the women’s game.

“We are working closely with each and every club to build a comprehensive strategic plan for the NRLW and the women’s game.

The plan with clubs will see further expansion opportunities in the coming years, for which we have seen strong interest and detailed business plans from all 17 clubs.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo

"We are looking forward to working with clubs on each of the individual programs over the next couple of years.”

Mr Abdo acknowledged and thanked major partners for their investment including naming rights partner Telstra and broadcasters Nine, Fox Sports, and Sky Sport New Zealand.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.