Rugby league chief slams players boycotting Multicultural Round launch over pay dispute
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Rugby league chairman Peter V’landys has slammed the players' group over their boycott of the NRL’s Multicultural Round launch over an ongoing pay dispute.
The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the NRL stars and the league has yet to be agreed upon.
The Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) have threatened to ditch any promotional commitments in the past until negotiations have been resolved.
The season launch was cancelled by the NRL last month as a result of wanting to ensure negotiations went smoothly.
However, with the CBA still yet to be agreed upon the players have refused to participate in the launch of the Multicultural Round.
The NRL held their Harmony in League gala day at the Belmore Sports ground with several school students in attendance as well as some of the game’s legends.
However, current first-grade players were notable in their absence.
V’landys took issue with their boycott and claimed that ‘major terms’ of the CBA had been agreed upon, calling their recent stance ‘unnecessary’.
He told the Today Show: “We are all here to promote the game, we’re here to look after young kids.
“There was a lot of young kids there yesterday, not having their role models and heroes there would have been a great disappointment.
“And what does it serve? It serves nothing, we’ve agreed on most of the major terms, it is only the detail now.
“So to take an action like that, it was completely unnecessary.”
It’s the latest stand from the RLPA, after refusing to attend multiple events run by the governing body in recent weeks.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a major obstacle in signing off the deal has proved to be proposed changes to the current transfer system.
The NRL are hoping to stop players from singing with other teams a year ahead from when they would arrive at their potential new club.
Penrith Panthers star Nathan Clearly revealed last month that the players would be prepared to sit out NRL games if an agreement couldn’t be reached.
He said: “We’re prepared to sit out games. It’s obviously not something we want to do (because) it’s robbing the fans of what they want to see.
“In saying that, it’s something we’re prepared to do to get our fair share.
“I think it’s just about the NRL coming to the party and wanting to find that middle ground where we can have that fair share. At the moment, unfortunately, it hasn’t happened yet so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied.
Topics: NRL, Rugby League, Australia