Australia leads way for women's rugby

Rugby union is the latest code to embrace the women's sport revolution, announcing on Wednesday it will launch a five-team Super W competition to kick off in March next year.

Queensland, NSW, ACT, Victoria, and Western Australia will all be represented in the 15-a-side, six-week league, with a final to be played in April.

The announcement came on the same day Rugby Australia outlined its plans to bid for the 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup.

"I am really proud and excited about this competition launching next year and what this means for the game in Australia," Wallaroos captain Shannon Parry said.

"Since I started playing rugby in Brisbane the game has come along in leaps and bounds and this competition means that there is opportunity now for all XVs players and Sevens players at the elite level.

"It's going to be great to see women's state teams slug it out against each other and will open a lot of girls' eyes up to the opportunities for them in rugby.

"I have played in three Women's Rugby World Cups and I know that we would be amazing hosts for the tournament."

Australians love putting on a sporting show when we host major tournaments and events and it would be huge to bring the pinnacle of Women's XVs rugby to our shores."

The announcement of a Super W competition follows hot on the heels of the NRL's unveiling of plans to launch a six-team women's competition in 2018 – a tournament that is expected to attract talent from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Canada and Cook Islands.

AFL Women's is fast-approaching its second season, while women's football and cricket have established themselves as part of the national sporting landscape.

"For a young girl picking up a rugby ball for the first time next season, she will now have a clear and accessible pathway to represent her country through the Buildcorp Wallaroos and Qantas Australian Women's Sevens team," Rugby Australia chief executive Bill Pulver said.

"Super W will allow our Women's XVs players the opportunity to play in a high-quality competition, fully entrenched within the professional programs at each state giving them access to elite coaching and high-performance facilities."


Photo by: SIMON WATTS/GETTY IMAGES. Caption:  Could the Black Ferns players jump over the ditch to play in Australia's new Super W rugby championship?