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Parramatta Eels Join NRLW Competition

The Parramatta Eels are pleased to announce that the Club will be joining the NRLW competition in 2021.

This is an exciting and historic moment for the Club as it embarks on a new era with its first elite women’s team.

Parramatta Eels CEO Jim Sarantinos said, “We have one of the largest female supporter bases in the NRL, and we want to ensure the Club represents the diversity of its members and fans by providing a platform to inspire young girls to feel connected with the Club.

“We identified a NRLW team as a priority to ensure that our development club philosophy could be extended to our female pathways players. We want to inspire all females to play rugby league, and we can now give them the opportunity play at an elite level in a national competition.

“Our Club is committed to developing an elite women’s program that rivals any sport in Western Sydney,” said Jim.

Parramatta has appointed former Parramatta Eels player Dean Widders as the inaugural Head Coach of its NRLW team.

“I am delighted that we are able to welcome Dean back to the Club, and with his recent experience as head coach of the South Sydney women’s team, he will bring a strong knowledge of the women’s game to our program.”

Andy Patmore has been appointed as NRLW Manager. Andy has a strong track record in the game, both as an NRL player, and manager and coach of the men’s and women’s pathways at Canterbury.

Andy also coached the Women’s NSW State of Origin team in 2019 and 2020 and has a strong connection with the women’s game at the elite level.

“Dean and Andy will be great leaders for our NRLW program and will be assembling a team of coaching and support staff over the coming weeks,” added Jim.

The Club is currently working through recruiting the squad of 24 players who will commence pre-season training on July 12. To ensure the team has the best possible facilities, they will be training at the NSW Rugby League Centre of Excellence as well as the Club’s Kellyville Park training facility.

Scheduled for completion by late 2023, stages 2 and 3 of the Eels development project at Kellyville Park will deliver the only precinct in the NRL with dedicated high performance and match day facilities for NRLW and Elite women’s programs.

This season’s NRLW competition kicks off in late August, co-inciding with Round 23 of the NRL competition, with the regular season comprising of five home-and-away rounds, with the finals series culminating in the Grand Final to be held on 3 October.

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Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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