SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Isabelle Kelly of the Roosters is tackled by Jessica Sergis of the Dragons during the round three WNRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Allianz Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Parramatta, Newcastle and Gold Coast will all enter the NRLW from 2021, the league has announced.

The NRL has also confirmed that the upcoming campaign will take place over five rounds and will be followed by a finals series, scheduled to begin in August.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo stated the competition’s growth since it’s inauguration in 2018 has warranted vast expansion.

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“Women’s rugby league is the fastest-growing part of our sport and it’s exciting to be in a position to expand the competition after the success of the last three seasons,” Abdo said, per NRL.com. 

“The NRLW competition has produced some of the best athletes in Australia, it’s captivated a new fanbase and today’s expansion will give more players the opportunity to play in an elite competition.”

The Eels, Knights and Titans will join the Roosters, Dragons and Broncos for this season, while the Warriors have pulled out of the NRLW.

As the NRLW looks to continue in it’s expansion plans, the Warriors will look to make their return to the competition in the future.

“The Warriors were part of the first four clubs to join the NRLW competition and we are grateful for the commitment they made right from the start, particularly during the pandemic last year,” Abdo added.

“It’s been an incredibly challenging period for the club during COVID and I’m confident we will see the Warriors return to the competition in 2022 as part of our expansion plans.”

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Speaking via the club website, Warriors CEO Cameron George stated his sadness in announcing the club’s exit from the NRLW.

“As a club that prides itself in supporting the women’s game, this has been an exceptionally difficult decision to make,” said George.

“The key factor is the impact the Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to have on our club across the board. We’re extremely cautious of the border situation and will continue to be so. It’s uppermost in our thinking as we try to negotiate this year.

“It meant we were able to include only five New Zealand-based players in our squad last year and uncertainty remains this year.

“However, while we won’t be involved this year we are fully committed to being part of a revamped and expanded NRLW next season.”

Recently retired NRL Knights playmaker Blake Green is set to coach the Knights’ women’s side in their first season in the league.