Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George today announced the club has reluctantly decided to withdraw its team from this year’s NRLW premiership but is committed to rejoining an expanded competition next year.
The Warriors have finished third in each of the NRLW’s first three seasons since its introduction in 2018.
“As a club that prides itself in supporting the women’s game, this has been an exceptionally difficult decision to make,” said George.
“The key factor is the impact the Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to have on our club across the board. We’re extremely cautious of the border situation and will continue to be so. It’s uppermost in our thinking as we try to negotiate this year.
“It meant we were able to include only five New Zealand-based players in our squad last year and uncertainty remains this year.
“However, while we won’t be involved this year we are fully committed to being part of a revamped and expanded NRLW next season.”
George said the club was also focused on improving the women’s game in New Zealand.
“We need to see significant investment in the pathways and development of the women’s game in our country,” he said.
“As it stands, we are a long way behind what we see in Australia. They have a very strong structure built on competitions, representative fixtures and a huge commitment to development.”