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Rugby Australia announce increase in pay for female athletes

The Wallaroos sing the national anthem. Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images

Australia’s premier women’s rugby players will receive a guaranteed $72,458 in 2024 following a 28 per cent increase from Rugby Australia.


The governing body’s chief executive Phil Waugh on Friday conceded the code still has a “lot of work to do” to close the payment gap after announcing it had increased investment in women’s rugby for a second successive year.

Rugby Australia (RA) pledged more than $3 million while committing to additional funding, more Tier 1 contracts for Wallaroos and higher player payments.

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The code also aims to implement a world-class high-performance system for the 15-a-side women’s game.

The uplift comes on the back of a promising season for the Wallaroos in 2023, capped by a third-place finish at World Rugby’s inaugural WXV global tournament in New Zealand last November.

With the women’s 2029 Rugby World Cup to be held at home, RA is eager to build a lasting legacy as it embarks on the runway towards this marquee event.

“We have identified Rugby Australia’s sevens program as the benchmark for us to emulate,” said RA chief executive Phil Waugh.


“(It is) one of the most elite fulltime and fully professional women’s sports programs in the country and (has) achieved remarkable success for more than a decade.

“We saw a significant increase in participation among women and girls last year, and much of that was in sevens.

“This followed an unprecedented 2022 when our women’s sevens team won all three major trophies on offer, proving that success can genuinely drive interest and participation – and this is the opportunity with women’s XVs.

“We will continue to grow the women’s game in a sustainable and responsible way.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but the increase in our commitment over the last two years shows our determination to continue pushing forward.”


Tier 1-contracted players can earn $72,458 a year in RA payments for Wallaroos and Super Rugby Women’s participation, up from a maximum $56,000 in 2023.

The figures do not include additional player payments from Super Rugby clubs.


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