THE summer-based RFL Women’s Rugby League kicks off its inaugural season this weekend with 25 teams from across the country split into four leagues.

The Premier Division, Division One North West and Division One Yorkshire and North East leagues all start on Sunday , while Division One South kicks off in June.

“It is a very exciting time for Women’s Rugby League,” said RFL Director of Participation David Gent.

“There is significant investment into the running of the competition and we are confident that moving to a March to October season will improve playing standards and club environments and lead to an improved competition.

“The clubs taking part should be congratulated for being innovative and leading the way for a move to the summer-based season.”

The new competition can also boast a truly national flavour, with seven of the nine English regions represented, including notable entrants from Nottingham Outlaws (East Midlands) and Coventry Bears (West Midlands), who will be flying the flag in the full March to October programme.

Yorkshire also sees two new teams join the fold in the shape of Ovenden and Oulton Raiders while the Royal Navy will also play a number of fixtures against teams in Division One South.

Alongside the league structure will be the Women’s Challenge Cup which is open to all sides in the competition.

The first round takes place on April 15.

The Women’s Community Shield will act as another opportunity for teams knocked out of the Cup in the early rounds.

The competition sits within Tier 4 of the RFL’s pyramid structure.

Fixtures for Sunday, 2pm kick off:

Premier Division: Warrington Ladies v Bradford Thunderbirds, Nottingham Outlaws v Coventry Bears.

Division One North West: Leigh Miners Rangers v Wigan St Patricks, West Craven Warriors v Widnes Vikings Ladies, Leigh East v Chorley Panthers.

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