Queensland Rugby League has delivered on the commitment it made last year to provide equal remuneration for all players who represent the Queensland Maroons.
In a breakthrough for aspiring Maroons, elite female players who take part in camps and are selected to play State of Origin for the Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons in 2022 will earn $15,000 – the same amount as the men’s match fee.
Equal Origin remuneration is a first for the game, and is an outcome driven by the QRL’s continued investment into women’s rugby league.
Maroons captains Ali Brigginshaw and Daly Cherry-Evans welcomed today’s news.
“It takes the pressure off when you go to represent your state, the pressure of being away from your families and your jobs,” Brigginshaw said.
“You’ve got a job to do with the Maroons and you go and do it, knowing that you’re fully supported by the QRL, and I think it’s a big step from the QRL to make sure we’re aligned with the men’s team for the first time.”
Cherry-Evans also endorsed the decision to increase the support for female players.
“What this shows is that there’s a really strong progression coming in the women’s game, and it’s only natural that we keep giving our female players the opportunity to spend more time away to grow the game they love,” Cherry-Evans said.
Brigginshaw joined Maroons team mate Tallisha Harden, head coach Tahnee Norris and QRL chief executive officer Rohan Sawyer in Brisbane for today’s announcement.
Norris this week commenced her new full-time role with the QRL, as she sets her sights on strengthening pathways and development in line with the organisation’s female strategy.
Norris and the QRL will this month announce an emerging squad, which will see players gather in December for the first of a series of camps and specialised sessions.
In March and during the NRLW, a revised squad of 30 players will be selected and contracted to the QRL for a series of camps ahead of the 2022 Origin.
Each of these squad members will receive a payment of $4000 to compensate them for the time they may need to take off work to train, travel and undertake their recovery requirements.
A further $7000 payment will be made to the 19 players who are selected to take part in the final camp leading into the Origin game on June 24.
These match camp payments are to compensate those players selected for any interruption to their work or leave required to join the Maroons camp ahead of the game.
The 18 players selected in the team to play New South Wales then receive a $4000 match payment, a figure aligned to the current amount funded by the National Rugby League and in alignment with the NSWRL.
Sawyer said confirmation of equal Origin remuneration was a “milestone moment” for the game in Queensland.
“This is about creating certainty and stability for aspiring Maroons to have the opportunity to come through a genuine career pathway within the female game,” Sawyer said.
“We have identified the commitment the players make to the Maroons by being part of the top squad through to June, and over this time we want to adequately remunerate them for their commitment.
“We’re really proud of the fact that we’ve made the decision to invest now. I’ve got no doubt that there are many people and organisations within the game and other sectors who have the intentions to continue to invest in women’s rugby league, but we are intent on making decisions that accelerate this.”
Sawyer also acknowledged the role the ARLC and NRL have played in this landmark announcement through their support of the female game in Queensland and the funding provided to the QRL to enable the expansion of opportunities for female participants.