NRL Salary Cap, Net Worth, Upcoming Schedule, Highest Paid Player in 2023

The National Rugby League (NRL) is one of the most popular and lucrative sports leagues in Australia and New Zealand, attracting millions of fans and generating billions of dollars in revenue. The NRL features 17 teams competing for the prestigious NRL Premiership trophy, as well as the State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland.

In this article, we will explore some of the key aspects of the NRL, such as the salary cap, the net worth of the league and its players, the upcoming schedule for the 2023 season, and the highest paid player in the league. We will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the NRL.

NRL Salary Cap

NRL Salary cap in 2023

The NRL salary cap is a system that limits the amount of money that each team can spend on player salaries. The purpose of the salary cap is to ensure a level playing field and promote competitive balance among the teams. The salary cap also helps to prevent teams from overspending and going into financial trouble.

The NRL salary cap for the 2023 season has been announced at a record-high level of $12.1 million per team. This is a 25% increase from the previous season’s cap of $9.6 million. The cap for the top 30 players in each team has also increased to $11.45 million, a 22% increase from the previous season.

The salary cap increase reflects the growth and success of the NRL, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the league’s finances. The NRL has secured a new broadcast deal with Nine Network and Foxtel, worth $2.3 billion over five years. The deal will provide more exposure and revenue for the league and its clubs.

The salary cap increase also benefits the players, who will receive higher wages and bonuses. The minimum salary for all players in the top 30 squad has risen to $120,000. Players who have a standard ratchet clause in their contract will receive an 18% increase to their playing fee.

The NRL salary cap is monitored and enforced by the NRL Salary Cap Auditor, who has the power to audit, investigate, and penalise any breaches of the cap. Teams that exceed the cap can face fines, points deductions, or even expulsion from the competition.

Net worth of the NRL and its players

The net worth of the NRL and its players is not publicly disclosed, but some estimates can be made based on various sources of information. The net worth of the NRL can be calculated by adding up its assets (such as stadiums, merchandise, sponsorships, etc.) and subtracting its liabilities (such as debts, expenses, taxes, etc.). The net worth of individual players can be calculated by adding up their income (such as salaries, endorsements, investments, etc.) and subtracting their expenses (such as taxes, agent fees, living costs, etc.).

According to Forbes, the NRL was valued at $1.8 billion in 2021. This was based on factors such as revenue ($500 million), operating income ($50 million), and brand value ($200 million). However, this valuation may have changed since then due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new broadcast deal.

According to Business Insider Australia, the average annual salary of an NRL player was $371,000 in 2021 . This was based on data from RLPA (Rugby League Players Association), which represents over 500 professional rugby league players in Australia and New Zealand. However, this average may have increased since then due to the salary cap increase.

Highest paid NRL players

According to DMARGE, some of the highest paid NRL players for 2023 are:

  • Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle Knights) – $1.4 million
  • Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers) – $1.3 million
  • Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Sea Eagles) – $1.2 million
  • Luke Brooks (Wests Tigers) – $1.1 million
  • Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons) – $1.1 million
  • James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters) – $1 million
  • Tom Trbojevic (Manly Sea Eagles) – $1 million
  • David Fifita (Gold Coast Titans) – $1 million
  • Harry Grant (Melbourne Storm) – $950,000
  • Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders) – $900,000

These figures are based on reported contracts and may not reflect actual earnings or bonuses.

Upcoming schedule for the 2023 season?

The upcoming schedule for the 2023 season has not been officially released yet, but some details have been confirmed by the NRL. The 2023 season will feature 17 teams, including the new expansion team, the Dolphins, based in Redcliffe, Queensland . The Dolphins will join the existing 16 teams, which are:

  • Brisbane Broncos
  • Canberra Raiders
  • Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
  • Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
  • Gold Coast Titans
  • Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
  • Melbourne Storm
  • New Zealand Warriors
  • Newcastle Knights
  • North Queensland Cowboys
  • Parramatta Eels
  • Penrith Panthers
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs
  • St George Illawarra Dragons
  • Sydney Roosters
  • Wests Tigers

The 2023 season will start in March and end in October, with 25 rounds of regular season games and four weeks of finals. Each team will play 24 games, with one bye round. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the finals series, which will culminate in the NRL Grand Final at ANZ Stadium in Sydney .

The 2023 season will also feature the annual State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland, as well as the NRL Women’s Premiership, which will expand to a 10-team competition with the inclusion of Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys, Canberra Raiders and Wests Tigers.

The exact dates and times of the games will be announced by the NRL closer to the start of the season.

Highest paid player in the NRL?

The highest paid player in the NRL for 2023 is Kalyn Ponga, who plays as a fullback for the Newcastle Knights. Ponga signed a four-year contract extension with the Knights in 2020, worth $5.6 million, making him the highest paid teenager in NRL history at the time . His contract includes a player option for 2023, which he has exercised, earning him $1.4 million for that season .

Ponga is widely regarded as one of the best players in the NRL, as well as one of the most exciting and entertaining. He has been named in the Dally M Team of the Year twice (2018 and 2019), and has represented Queensland in the State of Origin series since 2018. He has also played for New Zealand in international rugby league.

Ponga is known for his speed, agility, vision, and creativity on the field, as well as his charisma and personality off it. He has a large fan base and social media following, and has been involved in various endorsement deals and media projects.


The NRL is a thriving and dynamic league that offers high-quality and competitive rugby league action to its fans and stakeholders. The league has shown resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and has secured a bright future with a new broadcast deal and a new expansion team.

The league also boasts some of the best players in the world, who are rewarded with lucrative contracts and bonuses. The players showcase their skills and talents on the field, as well as their passion and dedication to their teams and communities.

The 2023 season promises to be another exciting and unpredictable one, with many teams vying for glory and many players aiming for excellence. The fans can look forward to witnessing some of the best rugby league action in the world, as well as supporting their favourite teams and players.

Most Asked Questions and Answers

Here are some of the most asked questions about the NRL and their answers:

Q: How many teams are in the NRL?

A: There are 17 teams in the NRL as of 2023, including the new expansion team, the Dolphins.

Q: How many games are in an NRL season?

A: There are 25 rounds of regular season games and four weeks of finals in an NRL season. Each team plays 24 games, with one bye round.

Q: How does the NRL salary cap work?

A: The NRL salary cap is a system that limits the amount of money that each team can spend on player salaries. The salary cap for 2023 is $12.1 million per team.

Q: Who is the current NRL premiers?

A: The current NRL premiers are the Penrith Panthers, who won their third title by defeating the South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-12 in the 2022 NRL Grand Final.

Q: Who is the current Dally M Medal winner?

A: The current Dally M Medal winner is Nathan Cleary, who plays as a halfback for the Penrith Panthers. He won his second medal by polling 34 points in 2022.

Q: Who is the current State of Origin champions?

A: The current State of Origin champions are Queensland, who won their third consecutive series by defeating New South Wales 2-1 in 2023.

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