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The NRLW has announced its exciting expansion plans for the 2023 season.
The Canberra Raiders, North Queensland Cowboys, Wests Tigers and Cronulla Sharks have been named as the four successful clubs to enter the competition next year.
They will join the reining premiers the Sydney Roosters, Brisbane Broncos, St George Illawarra Dragons, Newcastle Knights, Gold Coast Titans and - of course - the Parramatta Eels.
It was originally proposed that two teams would be introduced, but with so many clubs expressing interest to be part of the top women's rugby league competition in the country, it comes as no surprise that the number clubs being welcomed has been doubled.
"We have a blueprint for investing in the women's game at all levels. We have seen from with the quality of the 2021 NRLW Premiership and the tremendous growth in female participation that we have capacity for sustainable growth," Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V'landys said.
"The Commission have again demonstrated that the women's game is a strategic priority. The quality of the Club submissions was excellent. The Commission had always left the door open to expand to a 10-team competition based on the quality of the applicants, and we have seen that come through both in the success of the 2021 Premiership and the quality and applications made by Clubs."
Since its inception in 2018 with just four teams, for the competition to increase to ten in a relatively short space of time demonstrates exactly how far the game has come.
It's a huge step forward for women's sport in Australia and shows how much support there is for the game.
Better pathways are forming and the demand from females to play rugby league is growing at a rapid rate of knots.
And with the first ever standalone State of Origin just a week away, followed by the 2022 season as well as a World Cup later in the year, it seems the only way is up for the NRLW.
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