Brisbane may need to shed players from their historic grand final-winning squad under a new points system salary cap to be introduced for the second season of the NRL Holden Women’s Premiership.
While the NRLW format remains largely the same this season, with the four-team competition to again be played in conjunction with the Telstra Premiership finals, the Broncos, Dragons, Roosters and Warriors will need to abide by a salary cap based on points for a player’s standing in the game – as opposed to their contract value.
Under the new system, points will be awarded to players for Test and State of Origin appearances, representing the Prime Minister’s XIII or playing at the National Championships.
Each club will be allowed to sign 22 players whose value totals a minimum of 120 points and a maximum of 160 points, with a player worth:
- 10 points if they played for the Jillaroos or Kiwi Ferns;
- 8 points if they played State of Origin for NSW or Queensland;
- 4 points if they represented the PM’s XIII against the PNG Orchids in Port Morseby, and;
- 3 points if they played at the National Championships.
With the NRLW competition in just its second year, points will be allocated for representative achievements for last season only.
Players who did not play above NRLW level last season do not attract any points, including 2017 World Cup winning halfback Caitlin Moran.
The Jillaroos star ruptured her ACL in a match for Souths Logan last May and missed the remainder of the season.
It is understood the Broncos were the only club in the inaugural NRLW whose squad would have exceeded the 160-point ceiling as they were rewarded for their success with the selection of 11 players in last October’s Trans-Tasman Test at Mt Smart Stadium.
A further six Brisbane players featured in June’s historic State of Origin at North Sydney Oval.
There was no salary cap system in last year’s NRL Holden Women’s Premiership but clubs were limited to signing a maximum of 15 members of the elite player pool, which comprised a Top 40 Australian-based players and 20 players chosen by the NZRL.
The NRL this week announced a list of 19 players awarded central contracts, who stand to earn a greater share of the $750,000 per year set aside for the women’s game under the collective bargaining agreement with the RLPA.
Under the points system to be introduced this season, there will be no restriction on the number of elite players each club signs – as long as the value of their squad does not total more than 160 points.