Rugby League Cares
Challenging how the sporting world tackles issues around men’s mental fitness and wellbeing

RL Cares is an independent charity that touches on the lives of people involved at every level of the sport.

Since January 2019, RL Cares has been responsible for delivering player welfare to the professional and semi-professional game: it supports players at the end of their careers when they make the transition to life after rugby. The charity is also there for current and former players who are enduring poor health or hardship.

RL Cares champions the sport’s rich heritage and is the custodian of its collections and archives, which are stored at the University of Huddersfield’s Heritage Quay. The charity is working on plans to open the sport’s first National Rugby League Museum.

RL Cares also promotes mental fitness and healthy lifestyle initiatives and runs the Reunions programme, which seeks to re-engage people with the sport they served with distinction in a variety of roles.

Player Welfare

Since January 2019, Rugby League Cares has had full responsibility for delivering player welfare to the professional and semi-professional game.

The charity works closely with the dedicated Player Welfare Managers at Super League and Championships clubs, the RFL and Super League (Europe) to protect and nurture the health and wellbeing of players.

Professional sportsmen face unique pressures and expectations and when things go wrong it can be difficult for players to know where to turn.

RL Cares is here for them in lots of ways, offering practical advice and signposting players in the direction of the experts who have the skills, experience and know-how to help them.

We have a dedicated Welfare Director in Emma Rosewarne, one of British sport’s most experienced administrators, plus an extended team that includes Transition Manager Steve McCormack and Career Coach Julie Measures.

From medical and legal advice to counselling and family support, players now have access to a range of services via RL Cares, which treats every case sensitively and in total confidence.

Health & Wellbeing projects

The health benefits of participating in sport are well documented and we would encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds to give the various formats of Rugby League a go: you’ll have a lot of fun and feel better in the process.

Rugby League is also a great vehicle for delivering healthy lifestyle messages and advice to people who are traditionally hard to reach, especially men.

Rugby League Cares works with a wide range of agencies and groups on campaigns that are making a huge positive difference to people involved in the sport and its communities. These include our award winning Offload project and our Sport England funded Back Onside project.

Our Offload project involves men engaging with current and former players to learn the techniques clubs use to manage players’ mental and physical fitness.

Back Onside is our health and wellbeing programme designed to encourage men to start enjoying exercise again.

Back Onside is being delivered at 11 clubs by coaching specialists, including current and former professional Rugby League players, to build strength, stamina and fitness in a fun and friendly environment.


Rugby League Cares plays an important role in recording, preserving and championing the game’s glorious past.  We funded the Wembley Legends statue that celebrates Rugby League’s long-standing relationship with the national stadium and are planning to open a first ever national RL museum in 2021.

Rugby League story is about much more than caps, shirts and old programmes and we are active in capturing the living history of a game which continues to enthral people as much as it has done since the formation of the Northern Union in 1895.

Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds, LS17 8NB