For the first time, the NRL Bunker will be used in a women's Rugby League match when the technology makes its debut for the annual Harvey Norman Interstate Challenge between NSW and Queensland at Wollongong's WIN Stadium on Sunday.

The decision to use the cutting-edge technology is just another indication of the rise in the professionalism of the women's game, with the announcement this month that elite female Rugby League players will receive paid contracts to represent NSW in the Harvey Norman Interstate Challenge, which also has a sponsor for the first time.


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NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan said: "We view this game as one of our elite games, and part of a double-header alongside a Premiership match, so it makes sense to have the appropriate rules and officiating processes in place for such a game.

 

“It’s another significant step forward for the women’s game.”

NSWRL General Manager - Football Barrie-John Mather said: "Now in its 19th year, it is incredibly pleasing to not only see the standard of the women's Interstate Challenge rise, but to see the game being treated with the same respect and level of professionalism as the elite men.

"Using the bunker and live broadcast (on pay TV) for the Interstate Challenge, professional contracts for the NSW women and a naming rights sponsor for the women's competitions in both NSW and Queensland are major achievements in a relatively short space of time."

NSW are the defending champions after ending a 17-year stranglehold by Queensland to win their first Nellie Doherty Cup in 18 years at the Gold Coast last year.

*** Sunday's match will be broadcast live on FOX League (11.45am kick-off) ahead of the Round 20 NRL clash between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. ***