Wallaroos captain Shannon Parry expects more money for female players as Rugby Australia benefits from hosting the men’s and women’s World Cups in 2027 and 2029.
RA chief Andy Marinos estimates the two tournaments will generate a windfall of between $50m and $60m for the cash-strapped governing body.
As well as putting RA back in the black after years of battling financial perils, Parry says the influx of money will deliver major benefits to Australian female stars, who lag behind men on the earnings front.
“It certainly will and I think with the announcement of the 2029 World Cup on home soil, we’ll see those resources and that financial support for women’s programs,” Parry said.
“What it looks like now, I’m not sure. But there’s no doubt there are conversations in the background at Rugby Australia to financially support players and staff so we can bring home this 2029 World Cup, which Australia hasn’t. never been able to do.
Australia will host a Women’s World Cup for the first time and Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper agrees his female counterparts should fight for a better deal.
“For professional sport, the more money we can get for everyone, obviously that would be great,” he said. “What it looks like, I don’t know. How the nuts and bolts work is up to Rugby Australia and World Rugby to sort out.
“But everyone wants to see everyone doing well and enjoying the game they love to play and getting paid well for doing it.”
Hooper is confident more money for RA will also slow the exodus of Test players to cashed-out overseas clubs and keep homegrown talent in Australia to chase World Cup glory, as well as feature on the British Lions tour and Irish of 2025.
“It has a ripple effect,” he said. “It’s not just the desire to play that’s something intangible. There’s that level. Then with the financial boost it gives you can marry that, so you have additional reasons to to stay.
“So it’s a great time to be a young player. If you’re like in that 16-year-old slot, you’re right in the strike zone there.
Ultimately, Hooper believes Australia, which will host World Cups two years apart, will also attract more juniors to the code.
“It’s an opportunity to put it in place and have real longevity in the game,” he said. “With the Lions, we know it’s going to be huge. Then the World Cup, then the Women’s World Cup, so you start creating a track.
“Not only for these 10 years but also hopefully further for my little boys if they want to play the game and if there is an opportunity to play at a professional level.
“It’s such a great sport on so many levels, but the ability to play for a living, how good would that be? That’s literally what it has the opportunity to do and bring fun and bring fans back to love the game because it is a unique game and a brilliant game.