PNG Orchids: First women’s Pacific side to receive equal pay

9:16 am on 18 October 2019

The Papua New Guinea Orchids will be the first Pacific women's side to receive the same payment as their male counterparts when they kick-off their Rugby League World Cup Nines campaign in Sydney tonight.

Christie Bulhage scores for the Orchids.

Christie Bulhage scores for the Orchids. Photo: NRL Photos reported that every player from both the men's and women's teams involved in the Nines would be paid just over $US1350.

Orchids co-captain Angela Watego said many teammates had made financial sacrifices to play.

"I think it is good that we are being recognised and are finally on the same level," she said.

"We live in the 21st century so we should all be treated the same."

The announcement marks a significant and momentous occasion for all women playing the international game and is a dramatic step forward since the 2017 World Cup, during which male and female players from many nations received little or no payment.

Australia, New Zealand and England join the PNG Orchids in being the first female teams to be paid.

For most players in the Orchids, it is the first time they will be paid to represent their nation.

Orchids forward Lekiellia Brown said it was not about the money but the reason behind it.

"It's the recognition, it's the respect," Brown said.

"Back home the girls get criticised a lot for playing rugby league so hopefully it changes people's attitudes.

"Now when we go back, the news will spread that we are equal, we are getting paid the same as the boys and it will motivate the young girls back home to take up rugby league."

The PNG Orchids team to face Fiji in the 2019 Pacific Test Invitational.

The PNG Orchids team to face Fiji in the 2019 Pacific Test Invitational. Photo: PNG Rugby League