No women’s NRL team in western Sydney



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    The NRL faces the prospect of starting its inaugural women’s league without a team in its traditional heartland with all four western Sydney clubs declining to apply for a licence.

    NRL clubs had until close of business on Friday to officially stake a claim for one of at least six licences on offer for the proposed competition later this year.

    However despite most clubs showing initial interest in December, Canterbury, Wests Tigers Parramatta and Penrith are among seven teams to pull out of the running.

    St George Illawarra, Cronulla, the Sydney Roosters, Brisbane and South Sydney were the only clubs to declare they would be formally expressing their interest.

    It was uncertain whether the Warriors or Newcastle would make a submission.

    Manly, Canterbury, Gold Coast and Canberra opted to hold off at least until the following season, citing monetary restrictions and a lack of time to prepare a squad.

    It is believed it would cost clubs about $500,000 to field a team, which includes a licencing fee and match payments for players.

    Despite the hesitation from its western Sydney powerhouses, though, the NRL is keen to press on with its competition plans.

    “The level of interest in the women’s competition has been positive from fans and clubs alike,” an NRL spokesperson told AAP.

    “We will be discussing all submissions with clubs and will make an announcement on the competition structure in due course.”

    It is understood the short-term league will be staged in the lead-up to the men’s finals series, culminating in a decider to be played before the men’s grand final in October.

    The move comes as interest continues to mount in the women’s game following the success of the Rugby League World Cup and State of Origin.

    The Dragons said they were always keen on joining the first national women’s league.

    “We have a strong history and association with the development of women’s rugby league across our region, particularly in the Illawarra, where we established pathways and competitions in 2001,” the Dragons said in a statement.

    “The NRL has indicated that there will be only six licences available initially for a five-year period and as a club, we are presently in the process of developing our submission to be included in this competition.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (45)

    • February 17th 2018 @ 6:42am
      Justin Kearney said | February 17th 2018 @ 6:42am | ! Report

      ’Positive interest from the clubs’? What a joke.

      • February 17th 2018 @ 12:54pm
        Marco said | February 17th 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

        It is a joke. Greenberg and the NRL have been talking up a women’s league for the last two years. So far they’ve ended up with, “only a maybe”, 5 team half hearted competition.

    • February 17th 2018 @ 9:40am
      duecer said | February 17th 2018 @ 9:40am | ! Report

      Seems to defy logic – a strong RL area, large Polynesian diaspora, opportunity for good publicity.
      RU never tried to expand out west, sticking to their private school bubble and look where they are now.
      Yet the AFL, who have virtually no fans out there, decide to plonk GWS out there.

      • February 17th 2018 @ 10:26am
        Justin Kearney said | February 17th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        And that’s the difference between a sport taking risks to secure its future and our good old code which is administered by cowards.

        • February 17th 2018 @ 11:12am
          Oingo Boingo said | February 17th 2018 @ 11:12am | ! Report

          Ploughing half a mill into something that you’ll see no return on could also have something to do with it .

          • February 17th 2018 @ 11:39am
            KiwiBear said | February 17th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

            Yeh but ploughing 2, 4 or 8 million plus dollars into mens rugby league teams with no return! That’s just sensible. Haven’t you got that memo only 1 club makes a profit !

            • February 17th 2018 @ 12:44pm
              Oingo Boingo said | February 17th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

              If that’s true , then it’s all the more reason not to throw money they don’t have at it.

    • February 17th 2018 @ 10:48am
      KiwiBear said | February 17th 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      Y’know what who cares!
      Who says that the NRL clubs have to make up the Womens Competion. Let the North Sydney Bears field a women’s team in the new comp. I know they are interested in getting involved and who knows whether the likes of Newtown might follow suite. Im sure women out west would be happy to get a contract with anyone doesn’t mean they wont put in the same effort.
      As far as those Western Sydney 4 just seems to smack of laziness and a touch of arrogance!

      • February 17th 2018 @ 4:20pm
        Birdy said | February 17th 2018 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

        I’d go a step further Kiwibear,
        To start the comp why don’t they offer Joint Venture teams who could split at a later date.

    • February 17th 2018 @ 12:00pm
      RandyM said | February 17th 2018 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

      I don’t get the hype around “womens sport” or more so women playing mens sport is what it really is. AFLW is already fading into obscurity in its second year. League, Union and AFL are for the masculine not the feminine. These sports are going to attract a very small demographic of women and the ones built like brick outhouses are the ones who will succeed. It’s complete hogwash that thousands and thousands of girls are going to start wanting to play male contact sports. It’s nothing but patriarchy hidden under the guise of equality.

      We live in a society that values masculine over feminine and that needs to change.

      • February 17th 2018 @ 2:15pm
        Oingo Boingo said | February 17th 2018 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

        I think its more about introducing rules that will water down the level of contact , and blurring the lines between what it is to be a man and being a woman.
        There is a very political stench to all of this and its all related to social engineering.
        It has absolutely nothing to do with empowering woman and young girls.
        The AFL will continue to lead the charge , as just about everything they do has a rainbow in the theme or some kind of political statement.
        Me personally , I think league will be dead in this country in 10 years .

        • February 18th 2018 @ 10:26am
          RandyM said | February 18th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

          Ideally woman would invent their own sports/games that cater to the strengths of women. Anyway its not the society we live in and women think they have to be like men to succeed.

          • February 18th 2018 @ 12:23pm
            Oingo Boingo said | February 18th 2018 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

            I don’t think that mate , girls a getting brow beaten constantly that they need to be more like men , have successful careers and to be ashamed of their femininity.
            For a girl to say shes happy to stay at home and care for the kids is frowned upon , as though she’s subservient.
            Woman’s league will always be a third or fourth tier comp , but the media will have us believe it’s comparable to the men’s , and the clubs will be made to feel obligated to keep funding.

      • February 19th 2018 @ 7:12am
        GoGWS said | February 19th 2018 @ 7:12am | ! Report

        AFLW fading into obscurity?…what do you base that claim on? Seems pretty similar crowds and interest as last season. The second round Fremantle v Collingwood AFLW had a crowd of 41K – how many NRL club games will achieve that in 2018? And they had 20K at the opening game. AFLW fading into obscurity … whatever you say.

        • February 19th 2018 @ 7:13am
          Justin Kearney said | February 19th 2018 @ 7:13am | ! Report

          tv ratings have fallen through the floor mate.

          • February 20th 2018 @ 2:57pm
            Hummingbird said | February 20th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

            Yeah as you would expect in the second year but still over 200K nationally on the minor channel at bad TV times. They were at stratospheric levels and they are up against basketball , A league, Cricket ,RL and RU Sevens/tens

            • February 20th 2018 @ 3:00pm
              Justin Kearney said | February 20th 2018 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

              That’s optimistic. Last weekend all 4 games got only just over 200000 between them.

              • February 20th 2018 @ 3:08pm
                Justin Kearney said | February 20th 2018 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

                Oops I was wrong. They scraped in 197000 between them 🙂

    • February 17th 2018 @ 12:30pm
      Your Kidding said | February 17th 2018 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

      Would’ve thought Parramatta would have a crack at giving a women’s team a go. They are getting a new stadium and have a decent support base.

      • Roar Guru

        February 17th 2018 @ 5:02pm
        The Barry said | February 17th 2018 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

        They’ve fielded one in the NRL for years…

        • February 17th 2018 @ 5:06pm
          jamesb said | February 17th 2018 @ 5:06pm | ! Report


        • February 17th 2018 @ 6:05pm
          Your kidding said | February 17th 2018 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

          That’s funny!

    • February 17th 2018 @ 12:57pm
      Justin Kearney said | February 17th 2018 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

      This reeks of incredibly poor planning by the NRL and now looks like a knee jerk response to the AFLW. To annnounce a women’s competition and then fail to get enough teams is about as bad as it gets. With all of the brouhaha going on about women’s footy our mob can’t even get enough interest to form a 6 team comp. Way to go lads!

      • February 18th 2018 @ 11:21am
        no one in particular said | February 18th 2018 @ 11:21am | ! Report

        AFLW is a kneejerk reaction to Womens Rugby 7’s Gold

        AFLX is a knnejerk reaction to T20, 7’s and 9’s

        • February 18th 2018 @ 12:33pm
          jamesb said | February 18th 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

          Spot on.

          • February 20th 2018 @ 2:59pm
            Hummingbird said | February 20th 2018 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

            RL Nines is a knee jerk reaction to RU Sevens – so what. Played once a year in Auckland for 3? years AFLX is a good pre-season hitout without much contact and a springboard for the game in NSW/Qld where rectangular fields dominate.

            • February 20th 2018 @ 3:02pm
              Justin Kearney said | February 20th 2018 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

              Nines has been in existence for quite a few years now. We even played a preseason comp here in tassie 7 years ago. It is nothing new.