The Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) was established in 1979 to promote and safeguard the interests of its members, being professional Rugby League Players in Australia and in New Zealand via the New Zealand Warriors.
The RLPA is the collective voice of the Players that seeks to effectively influence decision makers within the Game, and secure the best employment environment and career path in Australian sport for its members. To be effective, all our members need to be actively engaged, whether it be attending meetings and functions or simply voicing their opinions and concerns.
Public scrutiny is at a heightened level due to the increase in the professionalism of athletes and the commercialisation of sport and, as such, the role of the RLPA in Player protection and support has never been more critical. The RLPA is continuously involved in dealing with complex and demanding issues for and on behalf of its members. Issues include:
- Player Education and Welfare (including personal development, behavioural and mental health issues, health and safety and after-football career planning)
- Legal Representation (including criminal, employment and civil matters)
- Anti-Doping (ASADA)
- Illicit and Hazardous Drugs(the RLPA is involved negotiating changes to this policy with the NRL)
- Agent Accreditation (including the hearing and determination of grievances by and against Player Agents)
- Player Licensing and Memorabilia (including the use of image rights of Players and the distribution of royalty payments)
- Management of the NRL Player Retirement Account
- Scheduling (including State of Origin and Auckland 9s)
In 2013 the RLPA successfully negotiated the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the NRL and the 16 NRL Clubs as the primary means of securing the best employment conditions for our members. In 2015 the RLPA also conducted a mid-term review to make sure that Players were fairly compensated for increasing workloads and changes in rules and scheduling.
The CBA sets out the terms and conditions of employment for professional Rugby League Players and established new benchmarks for:
- Salary Cap (2013-2017)
- Minimum Wage
- Security of Contract
- Retirement Account Payments
- Education and Welfare Funding
- Representative Payments
- Medical Standards
- Annual Leave
- Income Protection
- Career Ending Insurance
The RLPA is your Association just as much as it is the Association for NRL Players and we will always be there when you need help with any aspect of your football life.
Whether you need assistance regarding contracts, health and safety, wellness and wellbeing: the RLPA is there to support you and make sure that you have a successful career both on and off the field.