Wales have announced plans to create its first ever open-age female competition as they aim to field a national side in the 2021 World Cup.
A South Wales-based three-game Origin series will be played between East and West over the summer, with the best players receiving representative caps.
A training squad for the Wales women’s national squad will then be selected and will be joined by women plying their trade in North Wales and the English leagues.
Wales’ first ever women’s Test match will be against England at the end of this summer, with the date yet to be confirmed.
Those living in Monmouthshire, Newport, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Merthyr, RCT and Cardiff will be eligible for East Wales, whilst those living in the Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Neath-Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Pembokeshire and Ceredigion will be eligible for West Wales.
Gareth Kear, representing the WRL board in the community game, said: “It’s an exciting time for Wales Rugby League as we build towards the men’s and women’s World Cup in England in 2021.
“Our Women’s Origin competition launch is part of our board’s strategic plan and follows on from the successful Women’s Super League in England.
“I’ve always been an advocate of women’s sport and had the honour of coaching the Wales Women’s rugby union side in the 2002 World Cup in Spain.
“Having coached both codes, I find that rugby league is easier to learn, faster to play and, in my opinion, safer. We look forward to building a national women’s side for the 2021 World Cup.”