The US Association of Rugby League Inc (USARL) has positioned itself to take over the running of the American women’s program.

Since 2019, when a women’s program was first established in the United States, it has been run by US Women’s Rugby League (USWRL).

The USWRL was endorsed by the USARL when it first set up shop and has been overseeing the USA Redtails women’s national team.

An official statement released Sunday by the USARL, in part, reads, “The USARL Inc are formalizing our administration for women’s domestic competition and international commitments leading into the Americas Championship 2023 and Rugby League World Cup 2025 (RLWC2025).”

“The Americas have been granted three countries to compete at Women’s RLWC2025 and USARL Women’s Hawks are in a strong position to qualify.”

“Women’s Hawks selection activities and preparation will only be conducted by the national governing body, USARL Inc, and our national representative team will come under the banner of the USA Hawks.”

USWRL CEO Garen Casey tells Rugby League Planet, he didn’t see this coming.

“USWRL Inc won’t be commenting further until an explanation has been received from those involved,” he says.

“We’re all feeling like Joe Thiesman right now.”

Casey is referring to former NFL quarterback Joe Thiesman, who suffered a career-ending injury in 1985. That injury inspired the movie ‘The Blind Side.’

The USARL says Miranda Barnard will lead an operations and administration committee to bring about both a national competition and respond to its Americas 2023 and RLWC2025 commitments.

Rugby League Planet has asked USARL chairman Peter Illfield for an explanation on the rationale for the move. So far, there has been no response.

Brian is a strong and effective communicator with more than 30 years’ experience in broadcast and electronic media. He has been writing for Rugby League Planet since 2012 and is frequently the first reporter to break news stories about the sport. He has been our North American correspondent reporting on news in the US, Canada and Jamaica covering everything from league standings to strategy analysis to breaking news on key trades to editorials and colourful features on athletes. He is now writing about rugby league on a broader scale to cover developments around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Brian started his career in Australian radio, before moving to the United States. He is an experienced podcast host and producer and is also a successful TV commentator having done play-by-play and analysis for ESPN, FOX Sports and the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) among others. Brian has his own YouTube channel @brianlowe5567 where he posts his interviews for Rugby League Planet. Be sure to check it out and subscribe.