Expansion of the NRL Women's Premiership has been put on hold for now.
The NRL this morning announced they would stick with the four-team formula of the Brisbane Broncos, St George Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters and New Zealand Warriors with the competition coinciding with the men's Finals Series.
The decision to keep the NRLW to four teams in 2019 comes as the NRL wants to work on growing the talent pool of players.
“The focus for 2019 is to consolidate on the success of this year and continue to grow our game from grassroots players, right through to support for our marquee events, including State of Origin, the Premiership and our Jillaroos,” NRL General Manager of the Women’s Elite Program Tiffany Slater said.
“In speaking with our stakeholders and importantly, our players over the past few months, the overwhelming response is that we’re on the right path and to keep expansion of the game in check with our participation numbers and player wellbeing top of mind.
“The more support that women’s rugby league gains along the way, the greater the long-term opportunities and increased competition.”
Also returning is the stand-alone Women’s State of Origin match which will take place on Friday 21 June at North Sydney Oval. In 2018, the NSW Blues lifted the inaugural Women's State of Origin shield in front of a record crowd.
It will be the third consecutive year the match has taken place in New South Wales.
The Women’s National Championship will also played on the Gold Coast while other highlights in the 2019 calendar include the Indigenous and Maori All Stars double-header, the Downer World Cup Nines tournament and Jillaroos and an Australian Prime Minister’s XIII international fixtures.