In their recent test match against the New Zealand Kiwi Ferns, Jillaroos winger Karina Brown revealed she was handed a $3,000 paycheque, the biggest she has ever seen

It is another step forward for women's rugby league in the last 12 months, with players previously receiving $4,000 to play five matches at last year's World Cup.

"It just seems to get better and better each time and that's all we're really asking for," Brown told

"We got the 3k [thousand] match payment which was the most that we've received for a Jillaroos match ... so it's not the same as the boys, it's probably the only thing that was different, however, it was more than we received from the World Cup last year," she said.

It was only five years ago that female rugby league players could only represent their country if they could cover the cost of getting to matches and accommodation. 

A former NSW representative told The Women’s Game that she had to pay up to $500 out of her own pocket to represent her state while former Jillaroos Bronnie McIntosh told Inside Sports last year, she had to carry a bucket around at community events to raise cash as a member of the national squad.

The Jillaroos weren’t aligned with the NRL during the time but played under the Australian Women’s Rugby League.

“We had to carry a bucket around to collect cash at some training camp in Queensland and I wasn’t impressed," she told Inside Sport.

Unfortunately, stories like these are not uncommon for female athletes but are slowly improving across sports.

Most notably, the Wallaroos receiving match payments for the first time while the Matildas have reaped the benefits of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in 2015 saw top-tier players earning $41,000 per year along with increase match payments.

Jillaroos coach Brad Donald said his squad has also enjoyed a new level of off-field support.

"Access to all the same technologies like athlete management system, we had a professor in sleep talk to all three teams, but the girls got the humidifier to utilise in their rooms to work on their best quality sleep," he said.

While the women are still a fair way off from being paid the same as the Kangaroos, who earnt $20,000 to play against New Zealand, the men's team did take a pay cut to play Mate Ma'a Tonga which saw them earn $3000.