The schedule for the upcoming 2023 NRLW season has been released.
It’s set to be the biggest competition yet with the inclusion of new teams Canberra Raiders, Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers.
It will be the first year to feature nine rounds and matches in primetime in a historic move for women’s footy.
The competition will kick off on Saturday, July 22 with a Queensland derby between the Titans and newcomers Cowboys.
The first-ever primetime fixture will take place in Round One with Sunshine Coast Stadium hosting Brisbane Broncos against the Sydney Roosters.
Elsewhere in Round One, Newcastle will take on St George Illawarra, the Eels will take on debutantes Wests Tigers, and new sides Cronulla and Canberra will face off.
The final two rounds will see the NRLW kick off the weekend of footy with primetime Thursday night matches for the first time ever.
The Sharks and Dragons will face off in Round 8, and the Wests will take on 2022 premiers Newcastle the following Thursday in Round 9.
The NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership Grand Final will be played on Sunday, October 1, taking place before the emen’s decider.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo released a statement, saying: “This year’s NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership will be super charged with four new teams, nine regular-season rounds, followed by semi finals and a Grand Final.
“In 2023, there will be new rivalries and new timeslots with every match being broadcast on free-to-air TV nationally with primetime coverage for the first time ever.
“The schedule will include a balance of standalone double headers, club double headers and standalone fixtures at new venues, aimed at maximising the opportunity for fans to experience the Premiership live or on broadcast across a range of markets.”
Nine Network has secured a deal to show every NRLW fixture, which will also be available on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports.
Telstra’s Genelle Sharples, Principal – Media, Sponsorship & Awards said: “Telstra is proud to support women’s rugby league as the naming rights partner of the NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership.
“The expansion of this season’s Premiership is something we are excited to be part of. An expanded Premiership provides greater career opportunities for aspiring professional female athletes, more games to watch for more fans and a deeper connection to communities across Australia.
“This is such a positive for participation at all levels of the game and for encouraging participation for women in sport more broadly, and all the physical and mental health benefits that provides.
“We’re excited to see the continued vibrant future for women in rugby league and can’t wait to see all the teams take the field from 22 July.”
You can find the full NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership draw here.
Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied.
Topics: Rugby League, Australia, NRL