Womens Rugby League heads into summer
The summer-based RFL Women’s Rugby League kicks off its inaugural season this weekend with 25 teams from across the country split into four leagues.
The Premier Division, Division 1 North West and Division 1 Yorkshire and North East leagues all start on Sunday March 11, whilst Division 1 South kicks off in June.
“It is a very exciting time for Women’s Rugby League,” said RFL Director of Participation David Gent.
“There is significant investment into the running of the competition and we are confident that moving to a March to October season will improve playing standards and club environments and lead to an improved competition.
“The clubs taking part should be congratulated for being innovative and leading the way for a move to the summer-based season.”
The new competition can also boast a truly national flavour, with seven of the nine English regions represented, including notable entrants from Nottingham Outlaws (East Midlands) and Coventry Bears (West Midlands), who will be flying the flag in the full March to October programme.
Yorkshire also sees two new teams join the fold in the shape of Ovenden and Oulton Raiders whilst the Royal Navy will also play a number of fixtures against teams in Division 1 South.
Pat Crawshaw, the Chairperson of the Women's and Girls’ group said: "This is the largest and strongest competition ever for Women's Rugby League and bodes well for the continuing development of the female game.
"A great deal of time and effort have been put into the planning and organisation of the summer season and I hope teams will benefit from the new structure."
Alongside the league structure will be the Women’s Challenge Cup which is open to all sides in the competition. The first round takes place on Sunday April 15. The Women’s Community Shield will act as another opportunity for teams knocked out of the Cup in the early rounds.
The competition sits within Tier 4 of the RFL’s pyramid structure, with results and fixtures displayed across each of the regional competition websites which can be viewed as follows.
Featherstone Rovers v Castleford Panthers
Warrington Ladies v Bradford Thunderbirds
Nottingham Outlaws v Coventry Bears
Division 1 North West
Leigh Miners Rangers v Wigan St Patricks
West Craven Warriors v Widnes Vikings Ladies
Leigh East v Chorley Panthers
Division 1 Yorkshire & North East
Ovenden Ladies v Oulton Raiders
Whinmoor v Brighouse
Hunslet Hawks v Stanningley Ladies