The Canberra Raiders' sights are set on entering an NRLW team for the 2023 season and they've called on the NRL to encourage clubs to be part of the fastest growing part of the game.
Raiders chief executive Don Furner said they would spend next year putting a team together with the view to being part of an expanded competition the following season.
The Raiders board met on Friday morning to finalise their plans.
It was the same day the ARL Commission also met, with the future make-up of the women's league expected to be discussed.
There's talk this year's NRLW could be expanded, either with more teams or more games, from the current four-team, four-week format involving Brisbane, the Sydney Roosters, St George Illawarra and the New Zealand Warriors.
The Raiders want to be part of that expansion.
It was hoped they'd be involved sooner, but the coronavirus pandemic has set them back.
"We'd need '22 to put a team together and we'd definitely like to have one in '23," Furner said.
"It's probably a year or two behind because of COVID and a few other things and funding, but it's always been a part of our plan down the track.
"And we think '23 will be the time as long as the funding model from the NRL looks right."
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Furner said the fact it's such a growth area increased the importance for there to be Canberra team.
"You've got to be aspirational because junior registration numbers for females in this region have almost doubled in four years so that's a real growth area for us," he said.
"If you then have a Raiders team that plays in a national competition it's something they can aspire to rather than have to move to Sydney for."
Currently, the four teams have to pay for their NRLW licence - whereas the NRL pays all 16 teams to be part of the men's competition.
Furner wanted that to change so that clubs were encouraged to be part of it.
He estimated it would cost about $500,000 to run an NRLW team - depending on the length of the season.
The Raiders will start a campaign through the Australian Sports Foundation to help set up the team.
It allows the public to make tax-deductible donations, with the Raiders using it to sell the foundation stones they laid at their new centre of excellence in Braddon.
They'll also hold a fundraising dinner at the National Press Club in a couple of months.
"We're keen to see a new model from the NRL in terms of funding," Furner said.
"At the moment you pay money to get a licence and our view is you should be encouraged to put a team in and maybe paid a participation fee, which helps the bottom line, and we'd then go out and get some sponsorship for that team.
"We've got a meeting in the Magic Round of all the NRL clubs up in Brisbane and it's definitely on the agenda there."
Meanwhile, the NRL's also looking at boosting bush football with a raft of measures - like clubs taking home games out to the country areas and NRL players holding clinics to help grow the game.
They're all measures the Raiders already do, with their next home game against the Newcastle Knights at Wagga Wagga next Saturday.
Furner said it would be good for some of the other clubs to help with the heavy lifting.
"The more the NRL can do the better. We certainly do our fair share in the region," he said.
"We are a country club, we do see ourselves representing the NSW country area so we do more than our fair share of the heavy lifting, but it would be great if there were more incentives there and kids could stay in country towns and play sport."