Queensland's female rugby league side will be paid the exact same wage as their male peers in a historical decision. Now the heat is on the NSWRL's upcoming board meetings with the QRL committing to equal pay for both women's and men's State of Origin sides.
The Queensland Rugby League's decision will continue to grow the women's State of Origin concept, which has been given its own Friday night prime time slot away from the NRL and men's State of Origin in recent years.
But the decision also puts heat on the NSWRL, with chief executive David Trodden saying the state south of the Tweed has a commitment to the women's game.
“The New South Wales Rugby League has always had an extremely strong commitment to the women’s game and supporting our elite women’s players, the NSW Sky Blues,” NSWRL chief executive David Trodden told NCA NewsWire.
“Any additional investment in the women’s game is a good thing and our approach to the women’s Origin match for next year will be the subject of discussion at upcoming board meetings.”
A terrific milestone for not just women's sport but Australian sport, the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) have become trailblazers and will see their womens players paid $15,000 each for the 2022 Origin series, according to a Courier Mail report.
The push for equal pay for women in sport has been an issue that has struck heated debate across the globe with a wide range of sports. Queensland Rugby League have now joined an illustrious list of sporting organisations pushing for better pay packets for female athletes.
Queensland mens captain Daly Cherry-Evans has supported the QRL's decision and investment into the womens game saying.
“What this shows is that there’s a really strong progression coming in the women’s game," Cherry Evans said.
“It’s only natural that we keep giving our female players the opportunity to spend more time away to grow the game they love.”
Queensland Rugby League's CEO Rohan Sawyer said that the equal pay deal 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.”
Under the QRL's new payment scheme a squad of 30 players will be chosen and contracted to the QRL ahead of the 2022 Women's State of Origin.
The payments will be made in three instalments. Once a squad of 30 is picked, all 30 players will be paid $4000 as a compensation for work, travel and training. Once the squad is reduced to 19 players, those players will receive a $7000 payment leading into the final camp. Finally the squad of 18 selected will receive a further $4000 payment match payment.
Queensland women's captain Ali Brigginshaw said she was delighted by the decision.
“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.
“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.”