There is currently a lot of talking point Down Under about the future of the NRL and what it will look like.
One of those involves money, unsurprisingly, and there was a recent statement between the NRL and the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA), which is run by former Hull KR star Clint Newton.
While this standoff lingers and there are fears it could stretch into 2024, delaying the salary cap increase and possibly putting players out of work, the saga has taken what the Daily Telegraph calls an “explosive turn”.
This has led to several clubs threatening to break away from the NRL to form a ‘rebel league’ if this is not sorted out soon.
This has prompted NRL boss Peter V’Landys to cancel his trip to the Rugby League World Cup in England.
This comes after a number of proposed overhauls in the competition. The RLPA fought hard against a new transfer window that has been described as better for fans, while the NRL is still pursuing the American dream of holding a game in America.
There is, of course, the return of the World Club Challenge, which is being discussed and planned for February 18-19, and a pre-season tournament that Super League champions St Helens will compete in. This was described as “well supported” by clubs by age.
However, the timing may not be right as the NRL will be expanded to 27 rounds in 2023 due to a shortened preseason as the World Cup puts additional strain on players, giving the RLPA another fight.
With those pressures mounting, with TV money taking center stage, it’s not surprising that things have taken such a turn.
Though unlikely, a rebel league nonetheless represents a significant step in rising tensions Down Under.