15 March 2023

The New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) is proud to announce the ‘RISE’ Talent Development Programme, in partnership with the NRL, will now be delivered in New Zealand to young aspiring wāhine players.

The NRL’s RISE programme, which has been highly successful across Australia, aims to better prepare young players for the rigours of high-performance environments such as the NRLW, targeting female players aged 17-19 years of age.

The programme enhances skills, teaches the fundamentals of strength & conditioning, and emphasises the importance of player wellbeing.

The NRL extended the invitation following a successful year of female participation in the rangatahi age group here in New Zealand.

2022 saw the introduction of the first National 16 & 18 Girls 9s Tournament, National Secondary Schools Girls Tournament, National Youth Tournament and the first National Representative fixtures for 16s & 18s Girls age groups.

With the NRLW growing from six to 10 teams in 2023, female players have more opportunities to be recognised and establish themselves as elite athletes.

The RISE programme is the next step for young aspiring Kiwi players to become NRLW players and future Kiwi Ferns.

GM of High-Performance for NZRL Motu Tony says, “Thank you to the NRL for inviting our New Zealand players to participate in such a successful programme.

“It’s exciting that our young wāhine will get to experience the benefits of RISE, which will aid their growth and development into future elite athletes.

“Our women’s game has experienced incredible momentum over the past couple of years, and we look forward to seeing this continue as more development opportunities are made available to our rangatahi across Aotearoa.”