The NRL and the 16 clubs have unanimously confirmed their commitment to developing a new player insurance scheme which will significantly increase payments for career-ending injuries.
NRL players will be eligible for payouts of up to $1 million if they suffer career-ending injuries under an interim insurance policy currently under consideration by players.
The NRL, the clubs and Rugby League Players’ Association have been working together on the interim policy. The proposal is currently before the Association’s members for review and approval.
The proposed scheme “tops up” the existing insurance arrangements to double the payout for total and permanent disability injuries from $500,000 to $1 million.
The payout will apply to the most serious injuries including paraplegia, quadriplegia, loss of sight and the loss of the use of a limb which end a player’s career.
The arrangements will cover the top 25 contracted NRL players in each club who would have insurance cover 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Chief Executive Officer Dave Smith said on Thursday the proposed arrangements to increase insurance protection were significant for the game.
“Everyone in the game has been working together for some months to develop an insurance scheme which looks after the welfare of our players,” Mr Smith said.
“Obviously players will always be able to take their own insurance to protect their income in the event of a serious injury.
“But it is also important that the game has its own scheme and the players, clubs and NRL are working towards that.”
On behalf of the clubs, South Sydney Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson said: “The clubs and the NRL recognise the importance of the improved insurance arrangements and support the proposal that was put to the Players Association for their members’ review.”
The interim policy would operate through to March 2015 ahead of new insurance arrangements to be developed for the whole of the game.
In addition, the NRL is working on a whole of game Foundation which would assist players who suffer catastrophic injuries.