Warriors to field team in inaugural NRL women's competition

The NZ Warriors have been confirmed as one of four entries into the inaugural NRL women's rugby league competition to be contested later this season.

In recent years, Australia and New Zealand have made huge strides in promoting women's rugby league, contesting regular test matches and a trans-Tasman series as part of the NRL Nines tournament.

The two nations have dominated international play, with the Jillaroos defeating the Kiwi Ferns in the last two World Cup finals and the NZ team taking three consecutive titles previously. 

This competition takes promotion of women's league to another level, with a schedule running alongside the 2018 NRL men's playoffs.

"Last night, I had a phone conference with the NRL and they advised me of our selection after a pretty lengthy process in terms of proposal, interviews and the likes," Warriors CEO Cameron George told Newshub.

"We can help grow the female participation in New Zealand and also Australia. We'll be in it to win it, and we're keen to make sure we assemble a very good group of players and give it a good crack to win our first premiership.

"This is another feather in the cap of the Warriors organisation and it shows we are visionary going forward in expanding the game in New Zealand."

At such an early stage, George was unsure of the team's composition and coaching staff, but was determined to provide a pathway for local players into professional ranks.

The Warriors will fund the team over an initial two-year license.

"[Footing the cost] was one of the decisions the board made when we assessed whether or not to put an application in," said George. "But we're confident it opens up a whole new avenue of fans and commercial opportunities as well.

Kiwi Ferns player Georgia Hale, an NRL community ambassador with the Warriors, is excited to have this chance at professional level.

"From what I've heard from people I've talked to, everyone loves watching the women's game," she told Newshub. "Going forward, more women's footy is what people want to see and this is an opportunity to add to that.

"I'm just glad that women are getting the opportunity they deserve."

The three other clubs involved will be Brisbane Broncos, St George Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters.