Wales will launch a women’s rugby league team this year, with the aim of competing at the 2021 Women’s Rugby League World Cup.

England will host that tournament and will provide the opposition for Wales’ first women’s Test match, which will take place at the end of this summer.

A three-game East v West Origin series will take place first in south Wales.

Players who impress will join others from north Wales and the English leagues in a Wales training squad.

Gareth Kear, representing the WRL board in the community game, said: “It’s an exciting time for Wales Rugby League as we build towards the men’s and women’s World Cup in England in 2021.

“Our Women’s Origin competition launch is part of our board’s strategic plan and follows on from the successful Women’s Super League in England.

“I’ve always been an advocate of women’s sport and had the honour of coaching the Wales Women’s rugby union side in the 2002 World Cup in Spain.

“Having coached both codes, I find that rugby league is easier to learn, faster to play and, in my opinion, safer.”

“We look forward to building a national women’s side for the 2021 World Cup.”

A Women’s Super League was launched in England in 2017 and the competition was expanded to eight teams for 2019.