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Cowboys to apply for 2023 NRLW

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys will formally apply to enter the NRLW in 2023 following today’s announcement by the NRL not to expand the competition for the 2022 season.

North Queensland approached the NRL in December to register interest in entering a team in the NRLW for 2022.

The club believed it was ready to field a side in the premier women’s rugby league competition in the country following the success of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys Gold Stars and the continued growth of the Cowboys Women’s Academy.

The Gold Stars reached the semi-finals of the 2021 QRLW season and subsequently had eight players sign NRLW contracts for the delayed 2021 season.

“Unquestionably we are disappointed the NRL will not be expanding its NRLW program in 2022. We were confident that we had the pathways, people and processes in place to ensure the Cowboys would be a legitimate contender in an expanded NRLW competition this season,” Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel said.

“We are proud of the work we have done to develop the women’s game in North Queensland with the ultimate goal of creating a team of North Queenslanders playing for North Queensland – the vision upon which our club was built. We had the backing of our Board and the required budgetary support system in place including commitments from our partners.

“We will now turn our attention to preparing the required documentation for our 2023 license application which demonstrates the club’s investment and success at a grassroots participation and state development level over the past three years.

“While our club’s clear and stated preference would have been to have a team in the 2022 NRLW competition, we are pleased the NRL today outlined a significant investment in women’s rugby league for both 2023 and 2024.”

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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