Queensland celebrate scoring a try in the Women's Interstate Challenge at Leichhardt Oval. You can still watch a replay of the live stream via: http://www.qrl.com.au/interactive/live-stream.html. Photo: John Bonanno Rugby League Review

Rugby league fans in the north will get a rare opportunity to see top-level female rugby league live when Queensland hosts New South Wales in this year’s Women’s Interstate Challenge.

Playing for the Nellie Doherty Cup, this year’s match will be staged at Townsville’s 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday, June 27 at 2.45pm.

Part of a packed schedule of rugby league on the day – the women’s match will be played as a curtain raiser to the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and Cronulla Sharks.

The Queensland Women’s team has enjoyed unprecedented success in this arena – having last year claimed the state honour for the 16th successive time.

There has been a surge in interest in the Women’s game following the inclusion of the Harvey Norman Jillaroos and Got a Trade? Got it Made! Kiwi Ferns at this year’s Auckland Nines tournament and the Anzac Test.

“The Interstate Challenge is an exciting and important fixture in the elite Women’s Rugby League pathway,” Australian Jillaroos coach Steve Folkes told the NRL.

“To have the Women’s Interstate Challenge played at a world-class venue before an NRL match shows the profile and interest that the game and female rugby league participation continues to develop.”

This year will be the first time in many seasons that Queensland will be without the talismanic Karyn Murphy leading the play on the field, with a new generation of women’s talent to feature in the team.

However, there will still be a lot of experience in the team with skipper Steph Hancock, half Ali Brigginshaw and forwards Renae Kunst and Heather Ballinger all expected to turn out for their state. 

The Queensland team will be announced at the conclusion of the QRL State Carnival being held at Southport on the weekend of June 6-7.

The Women’s Interstate Challenge game will be streamed live on NRL.COM on June 27 from 2.45pm.

Tickets to the match are on sale now through tickets.nrl.com

You can read the NRL release here: Women's Interstate Challenge