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Posted by RLPA

September 01, 2021

Women’s Player Advisory Group & RLPA Statement

The RLPA Women’s Player Advisory Group (WPAG) met on Monday evening 30th August following the postponement of the 2021 NRLW season. The WPAG discussed a range of matters both connected to the postponement and beyond that they would like to see advanced over the coming weeks.

The immediate priority for the WPAG and RLPA, however, is to support the New Zealand players who have been temporarily relocated to Newcastle in anticipation of the NRLW season commencing. Their plight was the subject of a recent story in the Sydney Morning Herald (‘Scary, disheartening’: The NRLW players stranded in Australia’) Link to Article 

The WPAG have expressed the below sentiment on the matter:

“We are committed to advancing the interests of the entire playing group and Women’s Rugby League and we know it’s more important than ever to support each other and offer our voice when we can, and this is one of those moments. The New Zealand based players made a significant personal commitment to relocate to Australia to play in the NRLW, and they are now stranded, unable to return home.

“Frustratingly, the communication, level of support and understanding of the effects the delayed competition announcement would have on the repatriation of these players by NRL Leadership, has not met our collective expectations.”

RLPA General Manager Womens Rugby League and International Relations, Lina Caccamo said:

“The postponement of the NRLW this year is hard for everyone invested in the Women’s game to come to terms with, especially the players, who make the ultimate sacrifices year-round to ensure they are available for the competition.

“No-one can dispute the significance of the COVID-19 situation and players are acutely aware of the effects it has had in their communities and for the Game, however for everyone to find out 12 days before the official NRLW pre-season was due to commence that training was delayed and then 7 days later that the competition was postponed to 2022 was a bitter pill to swallow. 

“As the players alluded to, there is a significant amount of work to be done in the coming weeks, but getting the New Zealand based players home needs to be the number one priority. We will do whatever it takes to work with the NRL, relevant government agencies and anyone who can help advance this issue to ensure there are no avoidable delays to their return.

“To Charlotte, Annetta, Autumn, Kararaina, Katelyn, Maitua and Ngatokotoru- we acknowledge the sacrifices you’ve made so far, and we hope that you won’t have to make them for much longer.”

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