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Force confirm game changing move to pay Super W players

The Western Force is extremely proud to announce the club has become the first Australian Super Rugby club to pay its Super W players.

The groundbreaking news comes on the eve of the Force team opening their Super W season in a double-header with the men’s side against the Queensland Reds at HBF Park on Friday.

This season, Force players will receive a $5,000 bonus if they are selected for the Wallaroos squad, $1,500 for the seven weeks of the Super season, a $300 win bonus and $100 for a loss.

Force chief executive Tony Lewis said it is hoped the program would be expanded next year.

“The objective is to get them into a program where they don’t have to go to work, where we are paying them enough to live off,” Lewis said.

“We are trying to get to that spot. We are making moves in the right direction.

“We are looking at how we can commercialise women’s rugby.

“Our objective is to get to a state where they have a choice for a 10-week window to be full-time professionals.

“We’d like to think we can get there next year but it could be in two or three years.

“If we want to take the game to the next level and make us competitive against AFLW, NRL or soccer, we are going to have to pay our players a fair wage.

“We want to try and compete on the open market for the best playing talent in WA and Australia and for them to understand what marvellous opportunities rugby opens up.

“You don’t have to look at the male game and say we’ll copy that.

“We have to work out very clearly where the game fits. We have to sell our game.

“We have to take little steps, we have to position our season so we are not competing in the open market.”

The Force Super W team will also have a full-time coach and administrator next year.

Force second-rower Rebecca Clough, a veteran of three Wallaroo World Cup campaigns, said the move was “absolutely huge”.

“It’s a long time coming but we’re over the moon,” Clough said.

“We really didn’t expect it for this season but it’s fabulous news ahead of the season kick-off.

“The girls are thrilled.”

Force general manager of rugby Matt Hodgson said: “Female rugby is an important part of the Western Force and we want to continue to improve and take our program forward.”

Force board member Stephen Daly said: “Welcoming the women’s rugby team into the Western Force family brings so much to our club and our culture.

“We want it to flourish in WA.”

The Force front-of-jumper sponsor Altrad is on board with eight other partners set to be announced in the coming weeks.

This article was written by Nick Taylor of The West Australian. You can read the original article by clicking HERE.