The NRL has unveiled its list of 40 Australian players who will form the bulk of the inaugural women's rugby league competition later this year.
The group is primarily made up of Jillaroos stars, including co-captains Ruan Sims and Steph Hancock, Kezie Apps, Chelsea Baker and Maddie Studdon.
While it is yet to be determined how many teams will play in the competition, it is understood the talent pool will be spread evenly across the league.
Senior manager of the NRL's women's elite program, Tiffany Slater, said the women's game has advanced quickly but is eager to continue its progression.
"I congratulate and commend the first 40 players on their selection in the elite squad for 2018 and in doing so, securing their position at the top of their game," she said.
"These women will not only have the opportunity to play as part of our Origin and Test matches, but they will be a part of State competitions, the National Championship and a Premiership competition later this year."
The squad will assemble in Sydney for a camp this weekend, but will have access to fulltime coaching, medical and high-performance staff all year.
The competition is expected to start later in the year with an eye to a double-header grand final with the men on September 30.