State of Origin: NSW to consider following Qld's move towards gender equality

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Discussions about increasing payments for female State of Origin players will be front and centre at New South Wales Rugby League’s upcoming board meetings after Queensland Rugby League committed to equal pay for women’s and men’s Origin players from 2022.

In what has been described as a landmark move towards gender equality in rugby league, the QRL announced on Thursday that female Maroons would receive $15,000 — the same as their male counterparts — from next year’s one-off Origin game.

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The Maroons’ rivals from south of the Tweed have confirmed they will consider following suit.

Origin payments will be a focus of NSWRL’s next board meeting later in November and at subsequent monthly board meetings.

“The New South Wales Rugby League has always had an extremely strong commitment to the women’s game and supporting our elite women’s players, the Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues,” NSWRL chief executive David Trodden told NCA NewsWire.

“Any additional investment in the women’s game is a good thing and our approach to the women’s Origin match for next year will be the subject of discussion at upcoming board meetings.”

As announced on Thursday, Queensland’s female counterparts will receive $4000 for being named in the 30-player squad that will take part in a “series of camps ahead of the 2022 Origin”.

The 19 players offered a place at the final camp will receive another $7000 and those selected for game day are set to earn an additional $4000, totalling a maximum of $15,000.

NSWRL did not immediately return NCA NewsWire’s request for comment on its payment structure for female Origin athletes, but a statement from the QRL said its $4000 match fee was “in alignment with the NSWRL”.

“It takes the pressure off when you go to represent your state, the pressure of being away from your families and your jobs,” Queensland Origin captain Ali Brigginshaw said.

“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.”

The annual women’s State of Origin match will be played on Friday, June 24, two days prior to the second men’s Origin game.

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