HomeAustralia and New ZealandNRL, RLPA Agree Terms As Players Can Sign Contracts For 2023

NRL, RLPA Agree Terms As Players Can Sign Contracts For 2023

NRL, RLPA Agree Terms As Players Can Sign Contracts For 2023

The National Rugby League (NRL) and Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) have announced an agreement around the contracting window which will allow NRLW players to officially sign with clubs for the 2023 season and beyond.

The contracting window opened on Wednesday 29th March at 9am AEDT which will see a flood of activity after players had previously voiced their concerns around the uncertainty that came with the stand-off.

Commenting on the agreement, NRL’s CEO Andrew Abdo said the NRL is pleased to work with the NRLW on the contracting model.

“This is a watershed moment for rugby league…We are pleased to have agreed the key terms of the NRLW contracting model with the RLPA and clubs resulting in a landmark new salary cap, minimum wage and player benefits,” said Abdo.

The announcement means players will now be able to sign long-term deals with clubs in the NRLW for the first time with 10 teams set to make up this year’s edition of the competition.

“For the first time, elite female players have the opportunity to sign multi-year contracts with 10 NRLW clubs, which provides these players with long-term security and certainty,” said Abdo.

A draw for the nine-round regular season and two-week finals series is expected to be released next week with pre-season training commencing in May before the competition starts in July.

RLPA’s CEO Clint Newton said he would like to thank the entire NRLW playing group for their determination and commitment to securing strong payments, benefits, and entitlements for current and future players.

“The new NRLW contracting structure will play a significant role in retaining and recruiting the best talent, helping with the continual growth in participation and exposure for the women’s game,” said Newton.

Based on the financial terms of last month, as part of the women’s collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap has increased from $350,000 in 2022 to $900,000 this year.

This will be distributed between each club’s 24-woman squad with incremental increases locked in until 2027.

The NRL has also pledged to invest $118m over the next five years to help build the women’s game.

“The Commission’s investment in the women’s game is being prioritised at all levels and this is an important step forward, and one of many we will be taking in the future,” said Abdo.

Meanwhile, Clinton praised the work the RLPA’s GM of elite women, Lina Caccamo, for supporting the players through a difficult time which saw many of them training and playing in state competitions while they waited for an agreement to be reached.

“Our attention now turns to finalising our joint-CBA with the NRL for both male and female players and continuing to build the foundations that will lead to full professionalism for NRLW players,” Clinton said.

This announcement comes after the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) announced the approval of four new teams for the expanded NRLW competition from 2023.

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