CEO Todd Greenberg told The Courier-Mail he bidding deadline had been extended because there was a great deal of interest from clubs.

“They realise the value of having female pathways under their brand and we’ve made it clear we want a geographical split," he said.

“We’re only considering between four and six franchises to make sure the contest is really elite and we have it right for the future," Greenberg said.

The Courier-Mail confirmed at least five teams will not submit for licences.

The Broncos are the only non-Sydney team to confirm they will put in a bid and unfortunately, the NRL will not get the geographical spread they expressed. 

Last year, Greenberg said two Queensland teams would be a hopeful scenario with the Titans and Cowboys out of the running.

Melbourne Storm has yet to confirm their bid intentions. 

While in NSW, the Sharks, Rabbitohs, Roosters and Dragons confirmed they will put in bids, with Manly and Penrith ruled themselves out.

Newcastle Herald reported early this month Newcastle Knights submitted an expression of interest but said the one issue holding the told back was the cost of the competition.

“We haven’t seen a budget yet, so that’s always been the issue for us,” Wests Group/Knights chief executive Phil Gardner said.

“My gut sense is that we probably won’t be putting a side in, on the basis of cost,” he said.

Warriors CEO Cameron George said late last month the club was putting together a submission.

The women’s competition is expected to run during the men’s finals with an initial structure of four or six clubs, which means the NRL will have to hope all the bids are strong enough to be considered.