The NRLW is adding four teams next season, with the North Queensland Cowboys, Cronulla Sharks, Wests Tigers and Canberra Raiders all being licensed to join at the start of the competition in July 2023.
But with the Rugby League Players Association and Australian Rugby League Commission still locked in negotiations over the new collective bargaining agreement, no concrete offers can be made to players because the salary cap remains unknown.
On top of this, NRLW players only sign season-long contracts, meaning all of them are being left to train uncontracted until their CBA is put in place.
Being left in this position means if players were to be injured during their training, they'd be left unable to sign with any club, a situation that could potentially end their careers.
The Sea Eagles and Roosters are in similar positions in the NRL, with Cooper Johns and Matt Lodge only being allowed on train and trial contracts until the salary cap is confirmed.
RLPA chief Clint Newton believes a deal is close to being finalised in what have been incredibly tense and drawn-out negotiations but also noted to Fox Sports that the situation for NRLW players is negative.
“The women who played in the World Cup put their next season at risk because they are uncontracted so it's not ideal,” Newton said.
RLPA board member and Melbourne Storm prop Christian Welch also voiced this sentiment over a fortnight ago on ABC's Offsiders.
“The people who are suffering now are the women, we're going to do our first CBA for the women, so all those women who won the World Cup tonight, they can't sign any contract with any NRL clubs at the moment, if one of them did an ACL overnight, the likelihood of them securing a contract for next year, there's no chance of it,” Welch said.
With the end supposedly in sight, NRLW players and fans will be hoping to return their focus to the season ahead as the largest season ever beckons with ten teams vying for the title.