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New initiative to focus on off-field and post-career player welfare launched

Playing rugby league for a job is likely the dream of many young players and only a select few make it, but even those that do only play for a limited time.

Rugby league is a very short career for some, and even those who play until they’re 40 are still a long way from retirement age when they hang up the boots.

The transition for some into a none rugby league related job can be difficult, particularly for those who have been in academy systems since a young age.

Off-field care and planning is therefore extremely important and Rugby League Cares have launched a brilliant Player Portal scheme that can do that.

Rugby League Cares are an independent charity focused on player welfare both during and after the playing career.

Their new Player Portal will be an online resource that “underlines the charity’s commitment to promoting the welfare and wellbeing of current and retired players”.

This is a topic of specific relevance right now in the backdrop of the current lawsuit being taken to the RFL and other sport’s governing bodies over the long-term injuries some players have sustained.

In the lawsuit there are 378 ex professionals and this kind of charity work will potentially ensure that in a further twenty years there aren’t another set of players looking to take action.

That’s because the Player Portal will be a ‘one-stop shop’ for players and families with lots of advice and information relating to career planning, managing finances and also personal development.

Examples from other sports have been utilised in order for the Portal to be as complete as possible.

Francis Stephenson, RL Cares Transition Manager, will work alongside experts to ensure the Portal is always up to date provided a statement about what it will offer.

“All the information on the portal supports our player welfare programme: we hope the stories featured, especially case studies from recently retired players, will help inspire the current generation to learn from the experiences of those who have gone before them,” said Stephenson.

“Our players can learn not just from their peers but from athletes in other sports. If we find, for example, a particular topic involving a jockey, a golfer or an NFL player, and it’s relevant to the journeys our players are on then we’ll share it on the portal.

“The aim is to make the portal a one-stop shop for best practise and advise for all players, whether that’s during- or post-career.

“RL Cares has a fantastic approach to player welfare, we endeavour to be best in class and aim to deliver one of the best welfare programmes in sport,” added Stephenson.

“The strides we have taken in the last few years since we took on responsibility for delivering player welfare from the RFL are immense.

“We have moved the bar in the right direction but we are always striving to improve: the RL Players Portal allows us to do that.”

The RL Players Portal can be accessed by visiting

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