The third season of NRLW premiership will be held in 2020 after months of uncertainty about the competition.
Season three of the NRLW premiership seemed in doubt last March when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in its indefinite suspension and two teams, the Sydney Roosters and the New Zealand Warriors, stated they may need to shutter their women's teams due to financial concerns.
However, the National Rugby League and the Australian Rugby League Commission confirmed on Tuesday that season three will go ahead in September with the four teams involved. The competition, which will be funded by the NRL, will debut while the men's premiership finals series is occurring.
The 2020 premiership season will be four weeks long and is expected to resemble the 2018 round-robin format. The competition was due to be expanded to six rounds in 2020. However, this expansion will be delayed due to the current financial pressures.
This season's matches are expected to be double-headers, held alongside the men's finals in order to reduce costs. The inclusion of the women's game in the latest NRL television deal, announced by NRL interim CEO Andrew Abdo last month, means that fans will be able to watch the season from their homes.
In a statement about the upcoming NRWL premiership ARLC chairman Peter V'landys stated:
"The women's game is a very important element of rugby league," ARLC chairman Peter V'landys said in a statement.
"We are very proud of our achievements in the women's game and we should be providing it the significance it deserves.
"I want to thank the clubs for their commitment to women's sport and the players themselves for their understanding as we worked through this process.
"I also want to thank our broadcast partners Channel Nine and Foxtel for their ongoing commitment to the women’s game."
The NRLW Grand Final will be held on October 25, 2020. Three weeks later a standalone State of Origin will be played on November 13, 2020.