NRLW Competition

Is anyone following the NRLW? If so, who are you supporting until Panthers have a team?

For me, I’m backing the Raiders until we have a Panthers team for me to follow.

I’m afraid to say that I’ve got no interest until we have a team, a place where our local talent can shine. What’s more, I’ve heard that Easts Rorters are favourites. I suppose that reflects their enormous juniors base.


I’m the same, no interest until we have a team. Couldn’t even tell you anything about the NRLW.

It will be a while before a Penrith NRLW side takes the field. The NRL expressed their interest in expanding as soon as 2024. Clubs wanting to join had a meeting to determine the clubs in the best position to take up potentially 2 available positions.

Penrith Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher had indicated Penriths preferred entrance into the NRLW was 2026.

Panthers chief executive Brian Fletcher said the club was “keen to go”, but were eyeing a 2026 entrance into the competition once upgrades at BlueBet Stadium were complete.

“We’ve had to delay [an NRLW team] because we’re doing up our stadium in 2025, so we wouldn’t have the facilities to play here, and we wanted to build in that complex some new facilities for the ladies as well, so they have the same facilities as the men,” Fletcher said.

“We’ve indicated to the NRL, we’re keen to go, we’d love to have one tomorrow, but we just haven’t got the facilities with the stadium being pulled down and refurbished.”


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Panthers confirm push for inclusion in 2026 NRLW season

Western Weekender | December 4, 2023

Penrith is pushing ahead in its quest to be granted an NRLW licence in time for the 2026 season.

Panthers Chairman Peter Graham has confirmed the club wants a spot in the elite competition to coincide with the return to BlueBet Stadium in two years’ time.

“We have made a formal application and it’s currently being considered by the ARL Commission,” he told the Weekender.

“We’ll be without our own stadium for 2025 so 2026 makes more sense. The other reason is when we start it, we want to do it properly, so we need an Academy.

“We’re going to build our own Women’s Academy and that will almost certainly be in our football precinct. We’re just in discussions at the moment about how we utilise some of the facilities that we’ve got over there at the moment.”

The NRLW launched in 2018 and has grown considerably in a short time – with every game now broadcast on television and 10 teams competing in the upcoming 2024 season.

The NRL is yet to confirm plans for future expansion but it’s expected Penrith’s application will be looked at favourably. It would be a huge boost to the women’s game in greater western Sydney.

“There’s a number of things we need to do between now and 2026,” Graham said.

“One of them is to put in place programs that will mean our good up and coming girls aren’t attracted to other teams.”

Penrith already have a number of women’s teams in other competitions, but an NRL licence would be the club’s biggest ever advancement in the female game.


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