Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The NRL has recently confirmed that the 2022 Women’s State of Origin game will take place on the 24th of June at Canberra’s GIO Stadium, giving the supporters of women’s Rugby League in Canberra a big event to look forward to.
It will be a historic event that marks the first time a State of Origin game has even been played in the nation’s capital and the first time a Women’s Origin has been played at a neutral venue, something that NRL CEO Andrew Abdo highlighted when he spoke to The Daily Telegraph.
“Both states have won two Origin matches each, so it’s fitting the fifth game is played at a neutral venue,” Abdo said.
“Canberrans are passionate rugby league fans and we’re looking forward to giving fans the opportunity to witness the elite women’s game for the very first time.”
Following this announcement, the Australian Capital Territory Government revealed that they have pledged $13 million to the Raiders’ bid for an NRL Women’s team.
— Canberra Raiders (@RaidersCanberra) March 12, 2022
The ACT’s acting Chief Minister of Sport and Recreation Minister Yvette Berry is confident that this is a worthwhile investment and that Canberra’s bid will be successful.
She recently spoke about the bid to The Canberra Star’s Julia Kanapathippillai.
“Canberra has a deep commitment to women’s sport and I’m sure there will be a lot of support for an NRLW team in Canberra,” Ms Berry said.
“Not only will it provide inspiration to our community, but it will give local players the option to stay in Canberra and continue their sporting career here.”
As the women’s game continues to grow it is important that every major Rugby League city has a presence in the NRLW to give talented juniors an easier path to the game’s highest level and create opportunities for women involved in Rugby League.
Therefore accepting Canberra’s bid to have a team in the NRLW will have a positive long-term impact on the development of the ACT’s women’s Rugby League players and the depth of the NRLW’s talent pool.
If the Raiders bid is indeed successful then they are hoping to have a squad put together in time for the 2023 NRLW season.