It’s about time.
With the NRL releasing the draw for the entire 2024 premiership season, it has finally been made official that the Women’s State of Origin series will be extended to a full three-match rivalry.
After 25 years of one-off games or the occasional two-match series, the Women’s State of Origin will be given the respect it deserves and elevated to the same model as the men’s.
It was believed that this would become a possibility from 2025, but the early announcement is a welcomed one for many rugby league fans.
In a stroke of genius from organisers, the Women’s State of Origin series opener will kick off the league’s showcase event, Magic Round; making the 2024 iteration a nine-game affair in Brisbane.
However, the opener of the 2024 Women’s State of Origin series will be the only game of three-match series to be played in major city, with two regional venues to host the following matchups.
With fans of women’s rugby league, and rugby league fans generally, ecstatic about the three-match series coming our way, here’s everything you need to know for the 2024 Women’s State of Origin series.
When and where are the Women’s State of Origin games in 2024?
In the new expanded Women’s State of Origin series, the NRL has opted to give Queensland the advantage, with games one and three to be played in the ‘sunshine state’.
Excitingly for all rugby league fans, the series will kick off at the league’s showcase event, Magic Round, in Brisbane to start the now nine-game festival of footy.
Women’s State of Origin 2024 schedule:
Game 1: Thursday May 16, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, 7:45pm
Game 2: Thursday June 6, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, 7:45pm
Game 3: Thursday June 27, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville, 7:45pm
What has the NRL said about the change?
Speaking to the media at a press conference in mid-November, NRL CEO Andrew Abdo announced that the Women’s State of Origin series for 2024 will finally be made into a three-game series.
It comes after over two decades of one-off matches and three two-match series in 2004, 2008 and 2023.
The move was tipped to be made for the 2025 series, but following a drawn two-match series in 2023 where Queensland regained the shield on total points scored in a 1-1 series draw, it seems the NRL knew now was the time.
“We have an expanded (Women’s) State of Origin series. We’ve listened to our fans, we’ve listened to the players and the other stakeholders, and we’ve worked incredibly hard,” Abdo said.
“The commissioner supported the growth of the women’s game by expanding the Women’s State of Origin series ahead of schedule.”
“It’s incredibly exciting and I think symbolic of just how far the game has come.”
Who won the last Women’s State of Origin series?
For just the third time in recorded Women’s State of Origin history, the 2023 series was a two-game matchup with Queensland winning the series based on total points.
The Maroons walked away 18-10 victors in Sydney’s west in the series opener, but succumbed to a late fight-back from the Sky Blues in the second match — going down 18-14.
However, the total points amassed to a slim 32-28 series win for the Maroons who took back the shield after losing it to New South Wales the year before.
What’s the overall Women’s State of Origin series tally?
This is a complex question due to the recent growth of women’s rugby league as a professional sport through the NRLW.
Since the NRLW started back in 2018, the two states are tied on State of Origin wins, with New South Wales winning the first two and the 2022 game. While Queensland have won in 2020, 2021 and 2023.
However, before the NRLW State of Origin games, there was the Women’s Interstate Challenge from 1999.
In those matches, which included a couple of two-match series, Queensland won an incredible 16-straight years, losing only two years in the competitions history.
Overall: Queensland 19, New South Wales 5, draw 1.