Currently down under there are a lot of talking points about the future of the NRL and what it will look like.
One of these involves money, unsurprisingly, and there has been a recent statement between the NRL and the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA), Chaired by former Hull KR star Clint Newton.
As this stalemate continues, with fears it could drag on into 2024 delaying the increase in the salary cap and potentially leaving players without a job, the saga has taken what the Daily Telegraph has called an “explosive turn.”
That’s because it has resulted in several clubs threatening to break away from the NRL to form a “rebel league” if this is not sorted out soon.
This has NRL Chief Peter V’Landys cancel his trip to the Rugby League World Cup over in England.
This comes after a series of suggested revamps in the competition. The RLPA battled hard against a new transfer window which has been described as being better for fans whilst the NRL are still chasing the American dream of holding a game in America.
There’s the return of the World Club Challenge of course which is being discussed and pencilled in for the 18th-19th of February as well as a pre-season tournament which will include Super League Champions St Helens. This has been described as being “well supported” by clubs according to Age.
That said, the timing is perhaps not right with the NRL expanding to 27 rounds in 2023 on the back of a shortened pre-season due to the World Cup placing extra strain on players which has the RLPA fighting yet another battle.
As this pressure mounts, with TV money at the epicentre of it all, it is unsurprising that things have taken such a turn.
Though a rebel league is unlikely, it still represents a significant step in the growing tensions down under.