Super W gets an F for non-payment of female players

By Warren Barnsley, Warren Barnsley is a Roar Guru

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    Rugby Australia’s bid to not fall behind in the fast-moving women’s sporting revolution has resulted in female players going unpaid, an advocate says.

    Outgoing Rugby AU boss Bill Pulver has conceded players in the national women’s XVs competition, re-branded this week as Super W, will not be renumerated for their efforts due to being considered amateurs.

    Super W is the latest women’s competition by a major Australian sporting code, following the WBBL, W-League, AFLW and NRL Women’s Premiership, with the latter announced this month.

    RA believes the competition will provide greater pathways to elite – and paid – involvement in the game and has been hailed by Wallaroos co-captain Shannon Parry as a huge step forward for women’s rugby.

    “For the girls to have week-in, week-out strong competition, it’s a lot better for the (national) team,” Parry said.

    “They’re going to have access to high-performance facilities which we’ve never really had before.”

    But Women’s Sport Australia spokeswoman Louise Evans said the governing body had done its female players a disservice.

    Evans said the failure to pay came despite RA gaining access to a bigger audience with the new competition.

    “Rugby Australia, which has really been in the doldrums, has finally woken up that, ‘oh yes, we need a women’s competition. We need to get on board to be able to compete’,” Evans told AAP.

    “But they’ve come up with a model that is defective in that they are not paying the women.

    “I think it’s a real own goal for Rugby Australia. We suggest they go back and re-work their model.

    “Why, if you’re an elite athlete, would you put your body on the line for free when you get a living wage and get very good on and off-field conditions – unless you absolutely loved it (playing rugby) – playing AFLW, WBBL, Super Netball?”

    Pulver said RA was working towards pay equality in sevens rugby and left the window open for women’s 15-a-side players to also be paid.

    “We’re actually in negotiations right now with the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA),” he said.

    “…. to try and make sure we have gender equality from a pay perspective. And that’s a work in progress and we’d love to think early next year we can communicate the outcome from that, which I think will be favourable.

    “The women s XV’s game here is still an amateur game, so the girls participating in this at this stage won’t be paid.”

    The speed of the announcement seemed to even catch RUPA off-guard, with the union having not yet formalised their position on the pay matter when contacted by AAP on Thursday afternoon.

    Super W will involve five teams and begin in March.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (18)

    • Roar Guru

      December 14th 2017 @ 3:49pm
      PeterK said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

      Equality of pay is a non sequitur in professional sport.

      The pay of a group of athletes should be directly linked to the revenue that group brings in, then within that group market forces determine the individual pay based on supply and demand.

      Sure for full time professionals there needs to be a minimum base amount but once again related to the revenue their group drives.

      • December 15th 2017 @ 5:22pm
        ironawe said | December 15th 2017 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

        This. Even the womens AFL only pays their female players a very paltry sum, and we don’t have anywhere near their following or cash.
        The money in sport is completely dependent on its popularity. People need to relax, and take check of the impulse to be social justice warriors all the time.
        Everyone wants the girls to do well, everyone wants rugby to do well. Lets not bankrupt it before it starts.

    • December 14th 2017 @ 4:00pm
      Ex force fan said | December 14th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

      How long until themy cut the Force despite the very high participation levels?

      • December 17th 2017 @ 8:45am
        Realist said | December 17th 2017 @ 8:45am | ! Report

        After 12 years of failing to make the finals, being bashed from pillar to post, sucking the code dry of millions of dollars, weakening the other franchises by continually raiding their players (until the players aren’t stupid enough to go there)..

        Then they will sack the women’s Force

        • December 17th 2017 @ 3:53pm
          Bakkies said | December 17th 2017 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

          You are mixing the Force up with theRebels.

          • December 17th 2017 @ 11:36pm
            Realist said | December 17th 2017 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

            The Rebels only had ‘6 years’ with ‘two’ mpromising seasons
            The Force had ‘12 years’ with ‘two’ promising seasons

            • Roar Rookie

              December 18th 2017 @ 6:18pm
              piru said | December 18th 2017 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

              They also cost $30 million despite being sold twice for $1

    • December 14th 2017 @ 4:46pm
      Sydneysider said | December 14th 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

      That shows you how much money the ARU has. Raelene Castle has a very tough job on her hands.

      Every other sport is at least giving their female players some financial assistance.

    • December 14th 2017 @ 10:01pm
      rebel said | December 14th 2017 @ 10:01pm | ! Report

      Sorry but a comp that requires it’s participants to take time off work to travel the country should compensate those participants. If they train at night and only play locally on Saturdays then they can be classed as amateurs.
      Not a good decision.

      • Roar Guru

        December 15th 2017 @ 8:57am
        PeterK said | December 15th 2017 @ 8:57am | ! Report

        If that was the case I agree.

        However, to save accomodation costs, how do you know they don’t travel on the day of the match and afterwards travel home, thus only away on a Saturday / Sunday and thus are not forced to take time off work.

        • December 15th 2017 @ 10:47am
          Jacko said | December 15th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

          Seriously Peter???? How do you know they do what you say….Its pathetic that these women are not going to be paid…I had such high hopes when the comp was anounced…Looks like it will be amature all round…nothing professional about it at all…How many will choose Rugby over League with no $$$$$

    • December 15th 2017 @ 9:39am
      steveg said | December 15th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      Again RA “snatches defeat from the jaws of victory” .Their poor decision not to pay the women participating in the Super W competition will surely weaken its appeal to potential players and again Rugby is the weakest link in any comparison with the other football codes all of which have a professional female competition.
      This has Pulver written all over it.

      • Roar Guru

        December 15th 2017 @ 9:45am
        PeterK said | December 15th 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        OK please work out how much RA could afford to pay 150 players considering their financial state.

        Add in the costs of running this comp, travel , ground hire, potential accommodation etc.

        • December 15th 2017 @ 10:49am
          Jacko said | December 15th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          So why do it then Peter???If they cant afford to do it just move on from the idea. Its very sad that we have this comp anounced then the details get released and its amature

          • Roar Guru

            December 15th 2017 @ 10:55am
            PeterK said | December 15th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

            having a national womens xv’s comp is a step forward, surely anyone can see this even if it is initially amateur.

          • December 15th 2017 @ 5:30pm
            ironawe said | December 15th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

            Jacko, its not always about money. The girls need a tough, full season competition, this provides it.
            The first world cups were amateur, the players didn’t get paid. Were they pointless competitions? Of course not.

    • December 15th 2017 @ 10:13am
      Hello said | December 15th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

      The way I am reading this is
      1 It is currently an amateur comp.
      2 if we can create a revenue stream from this it will become professional.

      It seems to be a chicken or egg scenario.
      Have a professional comp and hope for revenue or take a lesser gamble on fiancé and create an amateur comp and make it professional when the revenue starts.

      I really hope this comp takes off and does become professional – but not like our current super rugby that looses money.
      I do not think the ARU can afford to anything else at much of a loss

      • December 15th 2017 @ 12:34pm
        Dave_S said | December 15th 2017 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

        Yep that sounds like a fair summary.

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