Australian women's rugby league is in crisis, with two of the four NRLW league clubs announcing they won't compete in the upcoming season.
The NRLW season is due to kick off in September but is now likely to be delayed, if not cancelled entirely, with New Zealand club The Warriors announcing they won't take part in that timeframe.
As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sydney Roosters have become the second club to cancel their involvement, citing cost cutting measures due to the COVID19 pandemic.
It's reported that the NRLW competition costs clubs up to $500,000 per season and offers virtually no revenue. The NRL doesn't subsidise NRLW club losses, unlike the AFL which subsidises clubs up to $250,000 per season.
The cancellation of next season would be a hammer blow to the NRLW and puts pressure on rugby league to increase subsidies to the competition.
Despite its relatively slow support compared to the AFLW, women's rugby league has built rapid momentum through the women's State of Origin, attended by record crowds last season. It's also unclear whether that competition will take place.
The league crisis comes at a time when Rugby Sevens is also facing significant issues due to the postponement of its drawcard international competition, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.