It has been confirmed that the NRLW (Women’s National Rugby League) will increase to 8 teams next years and then up to 10 teams the following year with an accompanying 28% pay increase.
The rise in pay will see the minimum wage increased from $8,000 to $10,000 with this figure expected to rise once again in 2023 when a collective bargaining agreement has been finalised, which will also introduce player health and contract security. The salary cap is currently set at $350,000 but each club can sign two marquee players outside of the cap.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said “You want to think about the criteria very carefully. The location will play part of that, but also existing pathways and existing talent. It’s great for players to grow up playing junior fully and then aspire to play at the elite level in that region and not having to relocate. Which clubs are going to be putting forward proposals around how they’re planning to invest all the way down [will also be crucial].”
Abdo added “There’s nothing stopping us from thinking differently about where women’s clubs may be situated beyond an NRL club licence. It’s difficult to predict where we will end, because hopefully we never do we just keep growing.”