The NRL on Monday announced a cash-rich five-year agreement with Nine Entertainment that is set to give the game a guaranteed annual $400 million money injection until 2027. This has prompted a response from the Rugby League Players Association, with the association hoping to sign off on a new collective bargaining agreement reflecting the uptick in financial vitality.
According to NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo, now that financial security has been obtained, the next step will indeed be to engage with the RLPA and players over a renewed CBA.
The current CBA expires in 2022.
The renewal of the CBA is a topic high on the RLPA chief executive Clint Newton’s list of priorities right now. Speaking recently in Hunter Valley, Newton said a new deal will likely be decided in record time. He said the only thing required right now is for the league and its clubs to come to the negotiations table in the “right frame of mind”.
A key area bound to be tabled for greater input is the issue of rule changes. While the NRL has agreed to re-consider changes to the controversial six-again rule, Newton said he believes players need to form part of any dialogue in this regard. He said having players present around the negotiations table is crucial – and especially so when those players are expected to not only play the game, but also promote it.
Another important issue for discussion is that of a CBA for the NRLW, which is set to expand to six teams in 2022.
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