The Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has confirmed that women and wheelchair nations will receive the same participation fees as men’s nations at the tournament, which will be held in England.
The news marks the first time that women’s and wheelchair nations will receive a participation fee of any kind at the tournament, and the organisers have committed to ensuring that this fee matches the men’s nations.
Meanwhile, the RLWC2021 says that participations fees will also increase by 125% compared to 2017, with a revised participation agreement to be presented to competing nations covering player welfare, codes of conduct and commercial fulfilments.
The RLWC2021 says it will also continue to work with the International Rugby League (IRL) and player associations to ensure there is a minimum payment for all players competing in the tournament.
Jon Dutton, CEO, RLWC2021, said: “Our board have worked hard with colleagues at the IRL and the Rugby League Players Association to secure this positive and ground-breaking decision and we’re delighted with the outcome.
“One of our core values as a tournament is inclusivity and we believe that our revised agreements showcase our determination to ensure we celebrate this in 2021.”
Nigel Wood, Chief Executive of IRL, added: “Once again international rugby league has shown itself to be progressive and relentless in its aspiration to embrace true inclusivity. These announcements are a tribute to the journey the women’s and wheelchair games have made over the past decade.
“Both of these disciplines of our sport have the chance to establish rugby league as market leaders in their particular fields."