Australian Primer Minister Anthony Albanese, centre, was present at the Rugby Australia announcement ©Rugby Australia

Rugby Australia (RA) is set to start offering contracts to players on its women's team with top earners receiving up to AUD55,000 (£31,500/$38,000/€35,600), although only part-time deals are available.

It is a first for the sport in Australia and will see 35 players contracted under a new Collective Bargaining Agreement following a ceremony featuring Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

A $2 million (£1.1 million/$1.3 million/€1.3 million) funding upgrade for women's rugby will see elite players signed across three tiers, with the capacity to earn between AUD30,000 (£17,200/$20,700/€19,400) and AUD52,000 (£29,800/$35,900/€33,600) in RA payments.

All Super W players will also get a minimum payment of AUD4,000 (£2,200/$2,700/€2,500) in addition to money that their clubs pay which is thought to range from AUD1,000 (£570/$690/€650) to AUD3,000 (£1,700/$2,000/€1,900).

The move has come with a view to the future as Australia is set to host the 2029 Rugby World Cup.

"Australia hosting the women's Rugby World Cup in 2029 presents us with a great target for women's rugby - we want the Wallaroos to win our home World Cup, with a fully professional squad of heroes inspiring the next generation," said Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan.

"We saw this team's amazing tenacity, determination, and fighting spirit as they reached the quarter-finals at last year's Rugby World Cup – this was a performance that will lay the foundation for the future of the Wallaroos.

"Rugby Australia has committed additional funding into women's rugby this year and is pushing hard for further investment and corporate support - and we are delighted to have the best rugby coach in the world in Eddie Jones providing input into the Wallaroos in his role as an adviser.

"It is just the beginning, but the future for Women's Rugby in Australia looks very bright."

A parenting and pregnancy guideline has also been agreed in principle which will see contracted players still receive their full contract amount for the year while on maternity leave.

There will also be contributions toward childcare for players with children up to the age of 12.

Additional funding is also due to be provided from RA, which will also cover new investment into the high-performance programmes at Super W clubs to enhance the coaching, strength and conditioning, medical and performance environments.

RA currently has 12 women's players in the sevens setup on full-time contracts ranging from AUD44,000 (£25,000/$30,000/€28,500) to AUD120,000 (£68,800/$83,000/€77,700).