The NRL is set to roll out its own women's competition in 2018, the sport's governing body has announced on Wednesday.
Fairfax Media understands that a round robin tournament will run in the lead-up and alongside the NRL finals series, as well as a stand alone State of Origin match mid-season.
The tournament will culminate on Grand Final day, as part of a triple header.
In addition, 40 players will be offered national team contracts, with the Jillaroos also set to play matches in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
It is expected that up to six teams will participate, but it's not yet confirmed which existing franchises will be involved, with the New Zealand Warriors and Brisbane Broncos both said to be interested.
The NSW women's competition will continue to run during the winter, as it did in 2017, when Redfern defeated North Newcastle in the grand final.
More to come