Rugby League Cares statement

Rugby League Cares statement

In recent months, RL Cares has been made aware of legal proceedings instigated by a group of players suffering cognitive impairment.

Whilst we feel it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the merits of this case, we believe it is important to outline our position in regard to the support available for current and retired Rugby League players.

RL Cares is an independent charity that was established in 2013 when various charitable functions within the sport were brought together to better serve the Rugby League community.

At that time, the sport’s player welfare programme was in its infancy, but since then we have developed a support programme for current and former players that is widely recognised as world class and indeed the envy of other sports.

We are here for players, past and present, in both good times and bad, working alongside the RFL, SLE, the GMB players’ union and the clubs to deliver good outcomes for players.

RL Cares encourages all current and recently retired players to obtain the qualifications they require to become as successful off the pitch as they were on it. To that end, we offer a range of grants to subsidise academic and vocational training and hundreds of players each year have already benefited from our support.

We also have a successful transition programme that helps smooth the move out of the sport for retiring players.

Working with the dedicated player welfare managers at club level, we monitor and support the mental wellbeing of players and provide access to information and learnings on issues such as building positive relationships, resilience and gratitude with the aim of helping players become resilient, maintain positive and healthy relationship with friends and family and build a network of trusted people.

In 2019 we assumed full responsibility for delivering player welfare services to the professional and semi-professional game, and in that time we have invested in excess of £1m in support for players.

A significant proportion of that expenditure has involved crisis support, including specialist counselling and emergency interventions for players requiring residential care.

The hard work of our dedicated player welfare team means Rugby League players are now better supported than at any time in the sport’s history. That support is available to all players, past and present and is independent, non-judgmental and totally confidential.

We are here to help any player who is suffering poor health as a result of playing the sport we all love: if you are a current or former player experiencing problems who needs help or advice, please get in touch via