Payment guarantee for all at RL World Cup

·2-min read

Players across all nations participating in next year's Rugby League World Cup will be given guarantees over payment for the first time in the tournament's history.

Money has often been a thorny issue for smaller rugby league nations, with the likes of Tonga, Samoa and the USA all encountering problems surrounding finances during the last two editions of the tournament.

A deal struck by the Rugby League Players' Association mandates that male, female and wheelchair players will all be guaranteed a share of at least 45 per cent of their nation's participation fee for next year's tournament in England.

"This helps bring a base wage for every player participating," the RLPA's general manager of women's and international relations Lina Caccamo told AAP.

"You will always have nations that pay more, but this gives players a level of comfort around the amounts they are going to get for participating.

"It's not huge amounts of money but it's an improvement on players just getting paid per diems or meal allowances, and it's guaranteed across men's, women's and wheelchair."

There have always been big discrepancies in the amounts paid to tier-two nations when compared to the international game's big three.

And while that will continue, the fact players will be given an indication of their projected earnings means that they shouldn't be left short at the end of the tournament.

In the past, there have been examples of nations absorbing participation fees to cover other expenses with players paid with whatever was left over.

"Every federation has to sign up and agree that they will pay the player that amount, irrespective of what they owe the tournament," Caccamo added.

"The player will know what they are getting. It won't be a situation of a player saying: 'only this turned up in my account'."

The deal also mandates welfare officers are given to each team and that turnaround time is reduced for female players who, like their wheelchair counterparts, will receive prize money for the first time.

The agreement also covers players who are not represented by the RLPA, including the Super League and the French Elite 1, neither of which have their own union representation.

"This is a significant step in the right direction for us to negotiate collective terms for those players from outside the NRL," said the RLPA's chief executive Clint Newton.

"It demonstrates the validity and importance of representation. How that manifests itself in regards to representation in the UK still has challenges.

"But the reality is that it's proven globally that when players have strong and professional representation the whole sport is able to advance."

Re-arranged fixtures for the tournament, which was pushed back a year after New Zealand and Australia withdrew amid pandemic restrictions, are expected to be announced on Friday.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting