Rugby league’s civil war takes latest twist

During the off-season, there has been a heated battle between the NRL and the Players Association (RLPA) led by former Hull KR star Clint Newton who is the president of the association.

This comes as the two try to reach a decision in CBA negotiations.

As these stalled, there was threat that clubs could break away and form a rebel league sparking a very real civil war in the sport akin to the Super League war in the late 1990s.

It was believed that once a salary cap increase was decided upon, that these tensions would subside but the opposite happened as the NRL confirmed the increased salary cap without the say so of the RLPA.

Now the players are responding by boycotting NRL events such as photoshoots.

“This action is being driven by the players,” a senior player told The Daily Telegraph.

“The NRL doesn’t understand how unhealthy the relationship is with both the men and women.

“This is not about pay. It’s about the way the NRL have lacked respect in negotiations.”

The season launch is now under threat as well as the wider promotion of the season’s start.

An NRL spokesman on Monday said: “We are aware of some players not participating in today’s club photo sessions with NRL staff. We are in ongoing discussions with the RLPA regarding these and other issues and look forward to an exciting 2023 season for our fans.”