The NRL salary cap will officially increase to $7 million in 2017 – but could rise even higher if additional money comes into the game.

The ARLC and the Rugby League Players’ Association recently signed off on the code’s long-awaited collective bargaining agreement. The deal ends protracted and, at times, tense negotiations between the parties after players threatened strike action if their demands were not met.

The cap will rise from $5.85 million in 2013 to $6.3m in 2014, to $6.55m in 2015, $6.8m in 2016 and then $7m the following year. However, the CBA states that by March 1, 2015, the NRL and RLPA ‘‘shall jointly undertake a review of the profitability of the game with a view to ascertaining whether payments and/or allowances can be increased’’ for the final two years of the agreement. The clause effectively allows for the players to potentially benefit should additional cash flow into the game’s coffers.

The other key points to arise from the new CBA include:
■ Player payments for State of Origin appearances rising to $30,000 per game;
■ Player payments for stand-alone Tests involving Australia, England and New Zealand rising to $40,000 per match, with members of the the winning of the World Cup or Four Nations teams earning $50,000 ($40,000 for second and $30,000 for third);
■ The minimum wage will rise from $75,000 to $85,000 over the course of the agreement;
■ The minimum wage per NRL match is $3000 for players outside the top 25 squad;
■ Clubs will no longer be able to terminate the contract of a player who is ‘‘not playing the game or training conscientiously and to the best of his ability and skill’’.

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