Leeds Rhinos to make history by financially rewarding women’s team’s stars

Betfred Women’s Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos will make history in 2023 by becoming the first team in this country to financially reward their players for their efforts on the field for the club perhaps in a bid to secure the signature of new men’s signing Sam Lisone’s partner Georgia Hale.

The Rhinos won a second Grand Final in just four seasons in 2022 and are looking to expand the Women’s Rugby League operation in 2023. This will include a winning bonus for each game next season, along with meritocratic payments for success in the Challenge Cup and Grand Final competitions, with the hope of contracting experienced players to value their contribution to the women’s and girls’ game in Leeds.

Headingley Stadium will host the opening game of the Women’s Rugby League World Cup on Tuesday 1st November with the historic double header that will see hosts England taking on Brazil, kick off 2.30pm, following by the PNG Orchids clash with Canada at 5pm. The Rhinos have seven players in the England squad for the World Cup as well as Tara Moxon in the Papua New Guinea Orchids squad.

The move in 2023 is the second phase of the club’s move towards a professional women’s Rugby League team. Phase one included further medical and sport science support with a women’s team doctor, private scans, additional physio support and an enhanced sport science programme that resulted in the Rhinos making both major finals last season. The club also as part of phase one paid the women’s players for their time and commitment to promote the game for media and commercial appearances whilst contributing towards expenses for players travelling a significant distance and provided equipment such as boots, gym wear and gumshields.

Phase two looks to bolster this positive step towards professionalising the women’s game with payment towards players, a small step in the right direction to keep enhancing the women’s game and supporting the club’s players.

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Lois Forsell commented, “It’s great to see the growth and development of the women’s programme at Leeds Rhinos since 2018. Year on year it has grown, the club have big ambitions and these steps are all positive ones in the right direction that look to grow the game sustainably.”

Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington commented, “The Leeds Rhinos womens team are an integral part of our club and we are keen to see them progress as well as inspiring more woman and girls in Leeds to play Rugby League. There have been huge strides made in the Womens game in this country over the last five years and we hope we can move forward even further over the next five years.”

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