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NRL unveils support package for NRLW players after postponement of 2021 season

NRL unveils support package for NRLW players after postponement of 2021 season
September 14, 2021

The NRL has announced that it will offer a financial support package to NRLW players following the postponement of the 2021 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Worth more than $500,000, the financial support package will offer a standard amount of $3,500 to every NRLW player (around 140 players) on top of their contracted salary in order to cover what was meant to be the players pre-season.

Announced after reported tensions between players and the governing body, with some players facing being stranded in Australia and others without reliable income, NRL Chief Executive, Andrew Abdo, stating that this year the NRL has invested a total of $1.5 million in players despite limited games.

With the NRLW season pushed back to early next year, Abdo stated “remunerating our players is so important to us.”

“We’ve been working on a support package well before the postponement of the season was announced and (now) we are able to confirm the package.

The ABC reported that some NRL clubs have paid a portion of contracted wages for the 2021 season, but the additional funds are to cover the seven-week period between when preseason was due to start and the postponement of the competition.

Many players were forced to take time off work or turn down other opportunities to commit to the season, hoping it would go ahead.

New Zealand-based players, who relocated to Australia and are now remain in the country while waiting for approval to return home, have also been allocated an additional $150,000 in assistance, with some funds also going to players who moved interstate.

Like the Warriors, who have completed their NRL season, New Zealand-based players are waiting for additional quarantine places to open up to return home following the closure of the trans-Tasman bubble.

In a further move, 30 centrally contracted players will be paid their full contract value between $8,000 to $12,000, while the marquee players have also been guaranteed their $450,000 in allocated funds.

Abdo went on to say “we’re also ensuring our marquee representative players are paid regardless of the international program not proceeding this year and we will continue to provide financial assistance to players who have relocated and are waiting to return home, particularly those from New Zealand.”

As a result of the postponement, the 2021 women’s calendar will only see State of Origin and All-stars matches being played this year.

Image courtesy of NRL.

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