The National Rugby League (NRL) and the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) have agreed to a revised CBA which will secure the long-term sustainability of players, clubs and the game.
Players have agreed to a 6 per cent reduction in the salary cap for 2021 and 2022. However, unlike other sports, the revised CBA deal ensures job security for players with every club to retain a Top 30 squad, plus a minimum of three development list players.
The NRL Telstra Premiership salary cap in 2021 will be $9.02 million and $9.11 million in 2022. State of Origin match payments will be set at $15,000 for 2021 and 2022.
Other significant reductions to player benefits and entitlements under the CBA will also take effect as part of the revisions.
The NRL, RLPA and Clubs have also committed to collaborate on a number of key projects this year, including a review of the player contracting system, ensuring the game continues to listen to its fans and corporate partners.
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo thanked the players and the leadership of the RLPA for their commitment and sacrifice to the NRL, its clubs and our fans.
"2020 proved when we do things together, we get a better outcome for everyone. Today is another example of that,'' he said.
"I want to thank the players for the professionalism, discipline and sacrifices they have made - not only to ensure the 2020 season proceeded but so the game can remain sustainable long term. I also want to thank Clint Newton for the leadership he has shown in securing a deal that provides security for his players, the game and our joint stakeholders.
"The deal is a fair reflection of the value the players bring to our game and the sacrifices they are prepared to make to ensure we remain strong in the years ahead."
Mr Abdo also acknowledged the leadership of the Commission and the contribution of the Clubs in ensuring a deal was struck in difficult circumstances.
"I would like to acknowledge the role the Commission, and in particular our Chairman Peter V'landys, in balancing the competing interests of the game to ensure a fair deal was achieved for the players. I also acknowledge the contribution of the Club working group and in particular Blake Solly and Brian Fletcher, for their role in closing out a deal that impacts multiple stakeholders."
RLPA Chief Executive Clint Newton said the players understand reductions needed to be made following the impact of COVID-19 across the industry.
"The leadership and resolve of our members during this period of great uncertainty is something that we should all be incredibly proud of," Newton said.
"This revised agreement is another example of the leadership and maturity shown during such a difficult period in our game's history.
"When you consider the finite career of a rugby league player, which is not guaranteed to be longer than their next game, we have an important role in ensuring what we negotiate on their behalf is fair and reasonable.
"By prioritising trust, transparency, and honesty during this process, we have been able to reach an agreement that we believe strikes the right balance between protecting our members and ensuring the overall health of the game.
"I want to thank our playing group for the maturity and leadership they have shown during this period, our player leaders, directors and the RLPA team for their unwavering commitment as we worked through securing this outcome, as well as Andrew, Peter and the Club representatives for their work in getting to this point."
RLPA Director and Cronulla Sharks captain, Wade Graham, said players understand their responsibility to share in the decreased revenue.
"We understand the significant impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our game," Graham said.
"To help the game recover we believe it's fair that we share in that and play our part by agreeing reasonable reductions to our payments and benefits.
"I'd like to thank Clint and the RLPA team for the thorough process they have worked through in ensuring players are protected and respected in these negotiations.
"I'd also like to acknowledge my fellow players, we've continued to adapt and overcome the various challenges thrown our way during this period, which is something everyone connected to the game should all be proud of."