1 December 2022

The Canberra Raiders in a quest to sign players for their inaugural season in the NRLW

| Tim Gavel
Start the conversation
The Canberra Raiders announce the major partner brand that will appear on the front of the club’s inaugural NRLW team jerseys in seasons 2023 and 2024. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

The Canberra Raiders announce the major partner brand that will appear on the front of the club’s inaugural NRLW team jerseys in seasons 2023 and 2024. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

Raiders NRLW coach Darrin Borthwick is clearly excited by the prospect of starting a team from scratch.

It’s not his first shot at the task as he was involved in the establishment of two NRLW clubs prior to coming to Canberra.

He’s greatly encouraged by the support he has received since his appointment.

“It’s the buy-in from the staff, they really want this team to succeed,” he said.

And with four new teams coming into the NRLW in 2023, including the Raiders, the competition for players is fierce.

READ ALSO The Canberra Brave win another major award: Canberra’s Team of the Year

Although players can’t be signed until the NRL and the Players Association reach agreement on the collective bargaining agreement there is plenty of activity behind the scenes.

Armed with an estimated salary cap of $884,000, Borthwick is already formulating a potential team.

“We are really active in the market,” he said. “There is a lot of interest.”

Some of that interest is coming from the Brumbies’ Super W players. There are also two players coming from New Zealand and one from England.

Darren Borthwick. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

Darren Borthwick is not new to building a new team. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

But Borthwick is keen to sign as many local players as possible in the 30-player squad with a community connection crucial to the team’s success.

“It’s about the community and the region,” he said.

That community support extends to sponsors, with Raiders CEO Don Furner estimating it will cost around $2m annually to run the women’s program.

The nine-game season will additionally see players taking part in a six-week pre-season.

There is optimism that the season will eventually expand to a full-time program but for the time being players will be contracted for six months each year.

Individual player salaries will be around $30,000, meaning that players will probably continue to work while playing.

Don Furner. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

Don Furner describes sponsorship as ‘a wonderful day for us’. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

With the Raiders’ strong connections to the community, the University of Canberra, and a healthy sponsorship base there will be plenty of employment and studying opportunities for the players.

The team has already secured a major sponsor in Parbery Consulting. This will be the name splashed across the front of the jersey.

READ ALSO Why the death of Canberra AFLW star Heather Anderson has impacted so many people

Don Furner likened the sponsorship from Parbery Consulting to the Raiders’ original backer, the real estate firm, Woodgers. When they entered the NSWRL in 1982 the team was referred to as the Woodgers Raiders.

“This is a wonderful day for us, it is a massive leap of faith from Parbery Consulting in our organisation,” Don said.

Let’s hope for some double-headers at Canberra Stadium next season involving the men’s NRL team and the NRLW.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.