Currently, there are a lot of talking points about the future of the NRL and what it will look like.
One of them involves money, unsurprisingly, and there was 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 salary cap increase and potentially leaving players out of work, the saga has taken what the Daily Telegraph called an “explosive turn”. .
Indeed, several clubs have threatened to split from the NRL to form a ‘rebel league’ if this is not resolved quickly.
This caused NRL chief Peter V’Landys to cancel his trip to the Rugby League World Cup in England.
This comes after a series of changes suggested in the competition. The RLPA have been battling a new transfer window which has been described as better for the fans while the NRL is still chasing the American dream of hosting a game in America.
There is of course the return of the World Club Challenge which is being discussed and scheduled for February 18-19, as well as a pre-season tournament which will include Super League champions St Helens. This was described as being “well supported” by clubs according to Age.
That said, the timing may not be right with the NRL being extended to 27 rounds in 2023 following a shortened pre-season due to the World Cup putting added pressure on players , which forces the RLPA to fight another battle.
As this pressure mounts, with TV money at the epicenter of it all, it’s no surprise that things have taken such a turn.
Although a Rebel League is unlikely, it still represents a milestone in the growing tensions below.