The NRL and Rugby League Players’ Association have agreed to terms on a new CBA – with players agreeing to salary cap cuts.
The league released a statement on Tuesday afternoon confirming the revised agreement – which will see the salary cap set at $9.02 million in 2021 and $9.11 million in 2022.
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The base salary for NRL players in 2020 was $9.5 million, therefore the new agreement marks a six per cent reduction of the salary cap over the two upcoming seasons.
Roster sizes will remain at 30 with a minimum of three extra development players.
RLPA Chief Executive Clint Newton believes the players should be commended for making sacrifices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The leadership and resolve of our members during this period of great uncertainty is something that we should all be incredibly proud of,” Newton told NRL Media.
“This revised agreement is another example of the leadership and maturity shown during such a difficult period in our game’s history.
“When you consider the finite career of a rugby league player, which is not guaranteed to be longer than their next game, we have an important role in ensuring what we negotiate on their behalf is fair and reasonable.
“By prioritising trust, transparency, and honesty during this process, we have been able to reach an agreement that we believe strikes the right balance between protecting our members and ensuring the overall health of the game.
“I want to thank our playing group for the maturity and leadership they have shown during this period, our player leaders, directors and the RLPA team for their unwavering commitment as we worked through securing this outcome, as well as Andrew, Peter and the Club representatives for their work in getting to this point.”
— NRL (@NRL) January 19, 2021
“To help the game recover we believe it’s fair that we share in that and play our part by agreeing reasonable reductions to our payments and benefits.
“I’d like to thank Clint and the RLPA team for the thorough process they have worked through in ensuring players are protected and respected in these negotiations.
“I’d also like to acknowledge my fellow players, we’ve continued to adapt and overcome the various challenges thrown our way during this period, which is something everyone connected to the game should all be proud of.”
It also sees State of Origin payments slashed from $30,000 to $15,000 for 2021 and 2022, while there will be reductions to players benefits and entitlements.
The NRL, RLPA and clubs also agreed to come together for a number of key projects this year – including a review of the player contracting system.