NRL wants overhaul of transfer system in new collective agreement

Penrith star Stephen Crichton (Bulldogs), Newcastle’s Dominic Young (Roosters) and Flegler’s Brisbane team-mates Herbie Farnworth (Dolphins) and Keenan Palasia (Titans) will all play for their current clubs in 2023, although they have already agreed to go next year.

Current rules allow them to sign for another club from November 1, but the NRL have called for a major overhaul preventing any movement for the following year until June 30.

This means 17 rounds will be played before players can choose their future elsewhere for next season.

The RLPA has long opposed a major overhaul of the player transfer system, arguing that its members should have as long as possible to decide their future in one of the world’s most brutal contact sports.

Young, 21, for example, has secured a monster four-year deal with the Roosters but may not have the same offer if he has to wait until June 30 and picked up a long-term injury in the opening rounds of the season.

While the NRL and RLPA may struggle to reach consensus on the transfer model this week, they remain heartened by the settlement of a number of differences over the past week.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo.Credit:Oscar Colman

Wage negotiations have dragged on to the brink of the new season, even though the last CBA expires in November.

Another impasse to be resolved this week are details surrounding the NRLW competition after some clubs opposed the basic agreements and terms between headquarters and the RLPA for women’s football.

In an email sent to NRLW players over the weekend, was seen by the heraldthe players’ union said they had “a real obligation to resolve these matters together this week” after discussing the situation with Abdo.

“We felt that these matters were mostly resolved, but when the positions were returned to the clubs it became clear that there was opposition to the position that had been negotiated between the NRL and RLPA,” the E -Mail.

Eels Hooker and RLPA director Josh Hodgson said there was still a bit of work to do before an agreement could be finalised.

“I was on a call on Friday and there was still a bit of work to do with development players and practice and tryouts,” Hodgson said. “What it looks like, how much they get, how much attention they get with their contracts, how long they’ve been with a club.

“We have to make sure players are protected, and especially the guys who fit into that category, because these deals aren’t something to live off, it’s an opportunity and they need to be protected.


“There’s the big ticket points that need to be ticked off, and then there’s a lot of detail underneath. It’s a five-year contract and you have to make sure you’re doing everything right. There is still a bit of work to be done, but there has certainly been some progress, which is good.”

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Ryan Sederquist

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