Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos is confident that a $2 million injection into the women’s game will help deliver the best Super W season in the competition’s history.
Super W has been running since 2018, with newcomers Fijiana Drua breaking the NSW Waratahs stranglehold on the competition with some electric rugby last year.
And RA’s pledge to make the elite women’s game fully professional has ramped up this year, with $2m of additional funding representing an increase of more than 60 per cent.
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All Super W players will receive an RA-funded minimum payment of $4000 in addition to club payments for the five rounds plus finals season.
The funding is targeted to enhance the coaching, strength and conditioning, medical and high performance environments at all clubs while there will be additional provisions for meals at training sessions and a contribution towards child care for players with children up to the age of 12.
“The Super W is a vital part of our rugby ecosystem, providing a pathway for our women’s rugby players to compete at the highest level and showcase their skills and place themselves in contention for selection for the Wallaroos later in the season,” Marinos said at the season launch in Sydney on Wednesday.
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“We recently announced an additional $2m of increased investment for our elite women’s XVs programs as we transition towards a fully professional future – and the lure of a home Rugby World Cup in 2029.
“We are committed to continuous improvement across all areas of the game with our Super W competition being a critical piece of our pathway…
“The Super W competition provided the foundation in our Rugby World Cup campaign last year. We expect this year’s competition will once again provide an ideal platform for the international calendar this year.”
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The Western Force could be the big movers this year after signing a host of internationals including ACT Brumbies and Wallaroos lock Michaela Leonard.
The Brumbies will be coached for the first time by club legend Scott Fava, who is also the Wallaroos assistant coach.
The season kicks off on March 24 with semi-finals to be held at Concord Oval in Sydney and the final set for Townsville on May 6.
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