The expanded 2021 NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership has been officially launched with news the Grand Final will be held at Redcliffe’s Moreton Daily Stadium.
This year’s competition, postponed last year, will feature three new teams and semi-finals for the first time. It was launched today in Newcastle which will host Sunday’s Round 1 Triple Header at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Australian Rugby League Commission has also approved Moreton Daily Stadium to host the 2021 NRLW stand-alone Grand Final on Sunday, April 10. It will be the first time an NRLW Grand Final has been held in the greater Brisbane area.
Today’s launch welcomed the Gold Coast Titans, Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels to the Telstra Women’s Premiership for the first time, alongside defending Premiers the Brisbane Broncos and existing teams St George Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters.
This year will be the first time the women’s game has had a complete 12-month calendar with two NRLW competitions, Ampol State of Origin, State Leagues and the World Cup to be played in the United Kingdom.
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo says growing the women’s game at all levels is a priority for the Commission.
“The Commission has been committed to growing the women’s game at all levels and Sunday’s Triple header, to begin our season, is the next step in our growth strategy for the NRLW with additional teams and a finals series for the first time,’’ he says.
Mr Abdo says the Commission will continue to invest in growing all levels of the women’s game.
“We are focused on the enablers for expansion of female pathway competitions at all ages and levels, from junior participation through to the State competitions, the NRLW Premiership, State of Origin and Test Matches. The Commission have a focus on growth at all levels, right from grassroots to our elite playing group.”
Mr Abdo says he is pleased Queensland would host the 2021 NRLW Grand Final after hosting the men’s event.
“2021 will forever be remembered as the year the game relocated to Queensland and it’s fitting that the 2021 Telstra Women’s Premiership will be played in Queensland for the first time. I want to thank the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Council for their ongoing support of rugby league.”
Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery says the game will inject $1 million into the local economy and bring 11,500 passionate rugby league fans to the region.
“I’m truly proud that Moreton Bay will help make women’s sporting history by hosting the first ever standalone NRLW Grand Final at Moreton Daily Stadium,” he says.
“These female athletes have shown for several years that they are a force to be reckoned with on a national level with their remarkable talent and passion for the game, so it’s only fitting that they now have their moment in the spotlight.
“And just like the NRLW, Moreton Bay is a growing force on the national stage as the third largest council in Australia by population and the fifth fastest growing too.
“Council has invested $8.5 million into Moreton Daily Stadium, so we can host elite events like this and become home to the NRL’s 17th franchise The Dolphins in season 2023, which will be a huge economic boost for locals.
“I can’t wait to see thousands of fans, players and staff converging on our beautiful coastal destinations and our stunning hinterland retreats, so they can see what Moreton Bay has to offer.
“I’d like to thank the Queensland Government and the NRL for their partnership and for recognising the huge potential for Moreton Bay as a nation-leading Council.”
Dolphins Group Chief Executive Tony Murphy says the effort to work with all levels of government to improve the stadium’s facilities has been key in attracting a host of multi-sport events at the venue.
Those events have created valuable financial opportunities for local businesses and driven employment opportunities in the Redcliffe area, he says.
Moreton Daily Stadium is perfectly suited to host the NRLW Grand Final, with two female participation compliant change rooms built as part of the redevelopment of the northern stand in 2020. The stadium will host matches for the 17th team of the NRL, the Dolphins, when they enter the competition next year.
“Securing this type of event is why were so keen to partner with all levels of government – Federal, State and the Moreton Bay Regional Council – to improve the facilities at the stadium,” Mr Murphy says.
“It has resulted in a large number of events being held at Moreton Daily Stadium, including an NRL trial match this weekend, NRL matches last year, the upcoming Warriors’ NRL games and hosting Brisbane Roar’s A League home games.
“The stadium also hosted the four-day Women’s National Championships last year, which showcased elite women’s rugby league at both open and under-19s level.
“Now it will become the first venue outside of Sydney to host the NRL Women’s Grand Final, which is a huge coup for the area."
Round 1 of the 2021 NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership will kick-off with a triple header at Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.
Noon: St George Illawarra Dragons v Gold Coast Titans
1.50pm: Sydney Roosters v Brisbane Broncos
3.40pm: Newcastle Knights v Parramatta Eels.
All games will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and the Nine Network.