Jillaroos to feature in NRL’s expanded Vegas venture

The Jillaroos are set to play a women’s Test against England in Las Vegas. Photo: Rob Prezioso/AAP

AUSTRALIA are set to play a women’s Test against England in Las Vegas as part of the NRL’s expanded four-game extravaganza for 2025.

NRL bosses will announce a schedule for next year’s Las Vegas venture as early as this week, with the season-opening NRL fixtures all but locked in.

It is expected Penrith and Canberra will host games against Cronulla and the Warriors, as part of the season-opening double-header in the US.

A match involving Super League teams is also expected, with heavyweights Wigan and Warrington the most likely clubs to face off.

Such a fixture would work with English time zones, with the NRL also buoyed by the amount of fans travelling from the United Kingdom to Vegas this year.

There is then the option of adding an English component through a women’s Test against Australia.

The NRL is keen to have a women’s match as part of the Vegas trip, viewing it as the best way to lure potential talent from the US.

The league had toyed with several ideas, including the possibility of playing an NRLW match in March or opening the State of Origin series in Vegas.

But AAP has been told that an international fixture will instead be announced, with the Jillaroos expected to play England.

New Zealand could also feature in future Tests against Australia in the US, with the NZ Rugby League more than open to the idea.

A Jillaroos match in Vegas is considered the best way to sell the women’s game, particularly given players will have been in camp during the post-season.

Australia are expected to play women’s Tests against both New Zealand and Papua New Guinea this October and November, as part of the Pacific Championships.

The schedule for that is still yet to be announced, but it is likely women’s matches will be played in both New Zealand and Australia.

The NRL announced a crowd of 40,706 at Allegiant Stadium this year for the inaugural Las Vegas matches.

But the league will hope to increase that in 2025 with the added English component, while there would be a desire to attract more eyeballs on television in the US.


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