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HomeSportsIn-principle agreement reached on key terms for the NRLW CBA

In-principle agreement reached on key terms for the NRLW CBA

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The NRL and Rugby League Players’ Association have reached an in-principle agreement relating to key factors within the NRLW’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

“Agreeing to these financial terms will now give NRLW players financial certainty and security ahead of signing contracts for the 2023 NRLW season and beyond,” RLPA CEO Clint Newton said. “Although this is not a final agreement and several significant terms are yet to be agreed, this is a big step toward securing their first ever CBA.” 

What are the key financial terms the NRLW have reached in the agreement? 

In a media release the NRL stated how both themselves and the RLPA had worked together to ensure the in-principle agreement “provides women’s rugby league with an exciting future and fair and reasonable terms.”

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Policies and leave provisions relating to pregnancy to help support players has been factored into the deal along with benefits and other progressive aspects, including an allowance for private health insurance. 

Women will now be able to sign 12-month long contracts and have the opportunity to ink multi-year contracts from this season onwards. 

All players will also have access to wellbeing & education support, injury hardship funds and other avenues of financial support. 

“The Australian Rugby League Commission is adamant that investment in the women’s game be prioritsed at every level and the finalisation of terms for the elite NRLW is just one aspect of that commitment,” NRL CEO Andrew Abdo noted. 

A proposed figure of $118 million will be invested across the five-year cycle, helping to contribute to future growth within the women’s game. 

“This will also be supported by significant investment in pathways and grassroots participation as part of an overall strategy for women’s rugby league development,” Abdo added. 

As part of the agreement, the NRLW salary cap will increase from $350,000 in 2022 to $900,000 this season. It will then incrementally rise over the next five years. 

The salary cap for the next five-year cycle in the NRLW

Season Salary Cap
2023 $900,000
2024 $1,020,000
2025 $1,254,000
2026 $1,386,000
2027 $1, 518,000

Progress is being made on historic first-ever joint-CBA

“This is great progress for current and future players in agreeing to key financial terms and will lay the strong foundations which will allow our game to attract and retain the best talent in Australia and abroad,” Newton said. 

“There is still much more work to do as we continue to negotiate a joint-CBA for NRLW and NRL players which captures all their terms and conditions.”

Clubs in the NRLW will have a top 24 roster with additional funding set aside for four development players. 

The minimum salary total over the five-year cycle in the NRLW

Season Minimum Salary
2023 $30,000
2024 $34,000
2025 $41,800
2026 $46,200
2027 $50,600

This season will consist of a period of 20 weeks with seven weeks allowed for a pre-season, a nine-round regular season and then finals. There will also be two weeks of leave allocated. 

By 2025, it is expected that the length of the season will increase to 23 weeks with future expansion planned for in the strategy and investment. 

“The RLPA Board and our team look forward to continuing our work with Andrew and clubs as we continue to negotiate a historic first-ever joint-CBA,” Newton said.


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