The first competitive game of women’s rugby league kicks off in Nigeria this weekend, when Lagos Haven face Lagos Rhinos in the Western Conference. Three teams, The Kings the other, will play each other twice in a round robin format to determine the Conference champions.
Chair of the Nigeria RL Association, Abiodun Olawale Cole, said: “We are very proud to be able to bring forward the formal start of the women’s competition, such has been the demand to play. It is truly wonderful to see so many wanting to participate.
“It further reiterates our commitment to gender equality and, after some initial exhibition matches, we are delighted to commence formal fixtures. Recruitment will continue to add more teams and eventually the formation of a national side.”
Michael Ogunbiyi, NRLA director of strategy and planning added: “Under our strategic vision, we had planned the establishment of a women’s league in 2022. The sheer numbers of female players keen to get started has allowed us to push our plans forward and start immediately.
“It is great to see the continuous growth of rugby league in Africa and the increase in participation of women in the sport especially. We hope to see more women taking up leadership roles.”