WRLA (The Women’s Rugby League Association) which has been running successfully for over twenty years are to let their clubs decide which time of the year they wish to play the game at their AGM which takes place at 12.30pm on Sunday 4th September at the North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax.
This after another fantastic season which included the first WRLA State of Origin game and the formation of the WRLA Lioness’s representative side.
This is as a result of their clubs being directly contacted by the RFL to join RFL Womens Rugby League Competition which begins in 2012 and will run from March to October and includes a transitional season from September to October.
Participating clubs taking part are being offered financial inducements to play in this completion by providing an annual grant for clubs to assist with the purchase of insurance, training equipment, provide and fund the cost of Match Officials for all games, provide financial support to clubs where fixtures are over 200 miles round-trip to ease the travel burden on geographically remote clubs.
To add confusion The RFL through one of their League for All Officer’s has already informed all WRLA clubs that in regards to continued financial support, there is no guaranties on money however the women’s game is a priority of the RFL and will continue to be.
WRLA Chair Steve Manning said: “The governing body of the game via Sport England funding is again spending tax payers money to induce clubs to change their playing season from its traditional winter season to the summer running from March to October, after running smoothly in previous years from May to August when some WRLA sides have competed and which see’s three WRLA clubs compete in their finals day this weekend.
“To create further confusion, for the first time they are bringing in a ‘transitional season’ September to October which just happens to be the launch time of the winter season, an observer would say that I suppose this just happens to be coincidental without any motive.
“WRLA sadly cannot compete with this parasitical carpet bagging incentives being made to our clubs although one of their League for All Officers has emailed that in regards to continued financial support, there is no guaranties on money.
“Should the clubs decide that they wish to play in summer and I hope that WRLA would be in a position to have a WRLA league competition during the summer with all our sides plus any other ambitious side currently playing in the summer joining our league.
“I would also be then asking for parity in funding from the RFL although their argument may be that the incentives/inducements are only in an RFL run competition. Ironically they have Rugby for All Officers, so should not leagues not run by the RFL not be included and entitled to the same funding if they move to summer.
“If that is the case I cannot believe that Sport England agreed to give over £29 million to our governing body for our game when league which have been going for years miss out because they have not become involved in RFL run competitions.
“Finally it’s sad what is happening after a successful WRLA State of Origin which the players wanted and the formation of the WRLA Lioness’s side which may be short lived should our clubs decide to move to the RFL Women’s Rugby League competition.”