When the NRLW competition launched in 2018 it was seen as a huge launching pad for women in Rugby League.
At first it helped to grow interest in the women’s game in Australia as more eyes were on the product than ever before.
However, in recent years NRLW players have often felt neglected and disrespected by the NRL.
Last year there was a dispute between the Rugby League Players Association and the NRL over pay when the 2021 NRLW season was postponed.
The RLPA has once again become involved in the NRLW’s latest conflict with the NRL as players have become disenfranchised with their Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with the league.
Earlier today the RLPA released a statement on behalf of the players.
“As players, we are frustrated with the current state of our CBA negotiations,” the statement read.
“We have already played five seasons of NRLW.
“We have invested in the start-up and growth of the competition.”
The RLPA’s statement goes on to address the personal toll playing in the competition has on the players.
“It has come at a cost to our personal lives, families, employment and studies but we have committed to making these sacrifices because we are pursuing our dreams and we want to build strong foundations for the future of the game,” read the statement.
“However, the lack of security and certainty does take a toll and we believe it is time that we are afforded the respect we deserve through the first ever women’s CBA.”
The statement then goes on to explain why the 2023 NRLW draw reveal has been postponed as a result of this situation.
“An announcement of the NRLW 2023 draw would have set the structure and largely dictate the hours of work for players, which should not happen without a CBA that will capture all the critical terms of employment that we require as players to secure our futures.
“We deserve respect for our past, current and future contributions to the game and that begins with the finalisation of our CBA.”
It is very unlikely that the NRLW draw for 2023 is released until this situation reaches its conclusion and a CBA is agreed upon.
The players are also believed to be upset over the fact that they are yet to be informed of how much the salary cap will be for each team and how their wages for the season.