In a resounding victory for Women's rugby league fans, the Women's State of Origin series is set to undergo a transformative expansion, adopting a best-of-three game format akin to its male counterpart.
The move comes in response to widespread calls from all corners of the rugby league community, amplifying the representative spectacle and cementing the significance of Women's rugby league on the national stage.
The 2023 Women's State of Origin series was thrilling and fierce, but eventuated in an anti-climactic fashion with Queensland's for/against triumph after the series concluded with one win each.
In a related vein, the NRLW will maintain its current structure of 10 teams in the upcoming 2024 season, but there are indications that expansion is on the horizon with plans to grow the league to 12 teams by 2025.
The representative expansion doesn't only signify a shift in the State of Origin format but also promises financial benefits for NRLW rep players. With a $15,000 match fee for each player, the league is making strides in recognising and rewarding the talent of its elite female athletes.
As the NRLW experiences rapid growth, concerns loom in the background. Questions about potentially spreading existing talent too thin and the need for adequate grassroots development time to mature are essential considerations for the league's sustainability and competitiveness.
In a parallel development, the NSW Rugby League is poised to elevate its Women's competition, aligning it with the NRLW window. This decision creates a proper reserve-grade competition for Women's rugby league, marking a significant step forward in fostering talent and providing a pathway for aspiring players to reach the NRLW.
As the NRLW expands its horizons, the landscape of Women's rugby league is set to evolve, promising excitement, competition and increased opportunities.