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NRLW - 2021

League Unlimited News

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Official:


The National Rugby League (NRL) will present the 2021 Telstra Women's Premiership (NRLW) early in the New Year as part of a year-long calendar of women's rugby league in 2022.

Next year will include two NRLW Premierships, State of Origin, the women's World Cup and State Leagues, creating a full year of top tier women's rugby league.

The decision to delay the 2021 NRLW competition until the 2022 New Year provides the best opportunity to ensure 6 teams complete a safe and full season with minimal disruption to the lives of the playing group and support staff.

The Australian Rugby League Commission this week reiterated its commitment to ensuring the 2021 season is played and approved the change after considering that the infection rate in NSW is currently more than 10 times greater a day than it was when the men's competition was relocated to Queensland. It also took into account a significant number of players and officials are located in NSW Local Government Areas of concern and cannot currently train under the NSW Stay At Home Orders.

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said moving the competition to the start of 2022 created an exciting opportunity for the first year-long calendar for women's rugby league.

"The rescheduling provides us with an opportunity to create a full 12-month calendar for women's rugby league in 2022 and importantly means our athletes will not have to relocate,'' he said.

"Next year there will be 2 NRLW competitions, a World Cup, an Origin series and state competitions. That's never happened before. This presents an opportunity to build the profile of the women's game next year and we are looking forward to making the most of that opportunity."

Mr Abdo said the NRL had exhausted all options to play the 2021 season in its scheduled October timeslot.

"We explored all avenues, but it is simply not possible. When the men's competition was relocated to Queensland there were 77 cases in NSW on that day, there's now consistently over 1000 cases a day and restrictions around border closures are much tighter than they were in the middle of the year,'' he said.

"We also acknowledge that nearly all our NRLW athletes are not full time athletes. They have careers off the field that limit the ability to be able to relocate for a long period of time and that's something we also considered carefully.

"This decision highlights the Commission's absolute commitment to ensuring the 2021 season is played."

Dates and the draw for the expanded 2021 NRLW competition will be released later in the year.
 

Tigers1986

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Well she's not wrong in certain respects. That said, the girls aren't fulltime so having them all relocate to QLD for 8 weeks wouldn't be sustainable in terms of their regular employment I feel.
 

Nuke

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A friend of mine played the season in the inaugural NRLW comp. She had to relocate from interstate for that season, but chose not to return for the following year. Main reason was being away from her family for those 6-8 weeks or so, but she also told me that the money wasn't worth it given the anguish of missing family, & she was earning less than what she would have had she stayed here and worked as normal.
She also didn't return the following season due to having another baby, but her decision had already been made before that came about.
 

10$ Ferret

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I have worked in women's RL for a number of years now at all levels, so there is nothing more I would like that the game to expand, the players become full time professionals and basically what's best for the game.

What I am not surprised in here in the criticism of the delay is all the whinging seems to come from the Brisbane / ex Brisbane players. My personal experience apart from a couple, most including the one mentioned are very arrogant and just not people I care too much for nor their opinions.
Surprising isn't it that they have been training for months and other can't (due to covid) yet they don't care about the other teams. Actually every year that certain team starts training well outside of the NRL guidelines , unfortunately its just not policed.
Lets also not forget some of these high profile players have fulltime jobs provided for their by their club, legitimately.

Tiger1986 has nailed it, where the game is at the moment its not practical to do anything else. There is not the money in the game to enable the players to easily leave their employment. Hopefully that will change and I also feel having it as a stand alone competition will lift the game and help grow it.

Lets also note that if the game is expanded too quickly we end up with a substandard product like the AFLW. It was only a few years ago, when they were not being paid at all and had to self fund state and international matches. The game has come a long way and still has a long way to go. Instead of the the "what about me" attitude think about the path carved for you by those that did it a lot harder than you and think about what is best for the whole game and all the players present and future.
 

siv

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This just adds weight to either
- increase player wages
- or revert to state based comps with a playoff on GF day
 

10$ Ferret

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This just adds weight to either
- increase player wages
- or revert to state based comps with a playoff on GF day
I don't think so. just because some entitled people have whinged doesn't mean the path chosen is wrong.
 

Delboy

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Listened to Andrew Abdo and he stated that they surveyed the players as obviously they are not full time to see if it was practical to arrange a bubble in Qld.

Believe the response as that currently they had jobs etc and couldn’t sacrifice that and family to go into a Qld bubble.

He said that if they can work something out to play more games in 2022 , he would do it and would work towards that and growing the game for the participants.COVID jammed this year and not sure it’s anyone's fault .
 

Still Nutty

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She was also on the ABC Breakfast News this morning talking further on the frustrations and lack of communication on this...pretty poor form by the NRL.

It was also highlighted the effort that was made to get player wives and families up to Qld but not have any thought or effort to help and keep these players informed.

I think everybody gets the fact that NRLW is not a marketable commodity that can pay it's own way at present and there is a financial imperative to be considered...but I think the way the NRL have treated and not effectively communicated and consulted with the playing group is the real issue here, particularly around the postponement to 2022.

As I understand it, many players had arranged time off/unpaid leave/left jobs to commit to the league only to be told a few days beforehand(i.e. with no warning) that the comp postponement was being pushed out to next year. This was also 2 days before their first payment was due an that now hasn't been provided.

For an organisation that prides itself on it's administrative ability, communications and focus on player welfare, this shows one of 2 things - they are not as effective as the should be OR their efforts at developing the NRLW are tokenistic and they don't truly have an interest in creating a viable product.

As per Perth Reds post and based on their recent track record, I get the sense it's the latter because (like the NRL) the 'product' IS THE NRLW PLAYERS and they are the ones that have been hung out to dry in all of this and considerations on their welfare seems to be quite low on the NRL's priority list by the way this has been handled to date.
 

10$ Ferret

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I would love the NRL to be more proactive with Brigginshaw and the other Broncos players. Then they would not be able to gain the unfair advantage from training months before the other teams could that they do every year.

I am not surprised, and I could be wrong, but most of the complaining is coming from the QLD players who have been able to train.and are prepared to play.

The clubs have known for weeks that this was on the cards and they do treat their players better than these ones are whinging about.

I would have no doubt with the unpredictability of the QLD govt it would have been too hard to run and mentioned these players are not full time players. While they are phenomenal athletes and I look forward to the not too distant they can't get ahead of themselves.
The last thing the NRLW needs is to get the "U20s syndrome" of thinking they had made it and get all arrogant.

I do hope the players are all OK, and their employers and their clubs are helping them out.
 

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