For the first time ever, Queensland women’s State of Origin stars will receive the same pay as their male counterparts in what’s being described as a “milestone moment” for Rugby League and Australian sport as a whole.
The landmark deal, which will see female Maroons players earn the same $15,000 match fee given to QRL’s male stars, was confirmed by Queensland Rugby League on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters in Brisbane a short time ago, Maroons captain Ali Brigginshaw described the investment and support from Queensland Rugby League as a “huge boost to the girls”.
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“It means we can have the best people playing the game, we don’t lose anyone to other sports especially, and when you’re away for work we’re not having girls lose jobs.
“They’re being paid to be in camp and to represent their state and that’s probably the most rewarding part… Girls aren’t coming into camp stressed because they may lose their jobs over this.
“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, and 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.”
Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans, who has been a vocal and long-time supporter of equal pay, also hailed today’s announcement.
“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 Maroons (@QLDmaroons) November 11, 2021
Equal Origin remuneration is a first for the game, with QRL boss Rohan Sawyer describing it as a “milestone step” that had to be done.
“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.”