In spite of previous plans for the six-team NRLW competition to be fleshed out to feature eight clubs for the 2023 season, NRL CEO Andrew Abdo has claimed the league could instead feature 10 teams as soon as next year.
Competition administrators claimed in March of this year that the Roosters, Broncos, Dragons, Titans, Knights and Eels could expect to be joined by a pair of expansion outfits prior to season five.
A further two successful license bidders were then in line to be added ahead of 2025.
However, as reported by AAP on Thursday, the fledgling competition is now likely to become a 10-franchise race for premiership glory as early as Round 1 of 2023.
Still, this expedited expansion is reliant upon those chasing entry being able to field competitive rosters within the next 14-months.
As stated by ARLC chairman Peter V'landys last month, there remains a belief amongst the game's powerbrokers that the requisite funding and talent pool to expand at a breakneck pace was available.
It is believed that this view has been boosted by the fact that current bidders North Queensland and Canberra have a raft of viable player options already at their disposal.
Speaking on Thursday, the NRL CEO echoed V'landys' previous optimism, claiming the code was well placed to open its doors to the likes of the Raiders, Cowboys, Tigers, Sharks, Rabbitohs, Bulldogs and Panthers in due course.
"The demand is there and if we are satisfied with the depth of talent we will be able to grow even faster," Abdo revealed.
"We must invest at all levels of the game.
"We've had a terrific response from clubs and we are also seeing interest from in growth areas where there is already strong participation as opposed to movement of players."
Despite the push toward on-field growth, it is not yet known whether the previously active New Zealand Warriors will rejoin the competition after withdrawing from proceedings ahead of the scuppered 2021 campaign.
Given a raft of fresh teams will eventually make their way onto the fixture list, Abdo suggested that akin to the AFLW, each club's draw would also need to be extended in due course.
"Ultimately the aim is to expand the season and have the different state competitions running as genuine feeder competitions in parallel," Abdo said.
"The growth of (state) competitions has allowed us to grow a bit faster, and there has been strong interest from the clubs for a licence."
The Sydney Roosters will enter the 2022 season as the reigning premiers following their victory over St George Illawarra at Moreton Daily Stadium on April 10 in the postponed 2021 season, which was played at the beginning of 2022.