After months of uncertainty as to the future of the National Rugby League Women's premiership it appears that the league will be given prioritization through a joint television deal with the NRL.
The last few weeks have been a turbulent one for the NRLW. The suspension of the 2020 NRL season back in March, alongside many other sports, plunged the NRWL into limbo.
The associated sport financial crisis, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic stoppage, has reportedly resulted in both the Sydney Roosters and the New Zealand Warriors stating their possibly pulling their women's teams for cost-cutting purposes.
Should two of the four NRLW clubs reportedly no longer field teams, this would leave only the St George Illawarra Dragons and Brisbane Broncos in the mix. It would put the future of the Women's Premiership and Women's State of Origin in doubt.
However, NRL CEO told players in April that the cancellation of clubs was speculative and that the NRWL remained a priority.
Today, interim NRL CEO Andrew Ado announced that the NRLW will be included in the NRL's new broadcast deal. A confirmation and details could be made as early as next week.
Ado also stated his confidence that a schedule for this season's NRLW will be finalized in the next coming weeks.
Prioritisation by the NRL may be in part due to the increased competition from other codes such as AFLW, cricket, soccer and rugby union. It could be assumed that short term cost cutting methods could lead to long term diminished recruitment and popularity amongst women in sport.
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