The NRL's Burning Issues

 
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:10 am    Post subject: The NRL's Burning Issues Reply with quote

The NRL's Burning Issues
James Phelps
The Sunday Telegraph
May 8, 2016

WHILE Todd Greenberg's feet are barely under his desk, the NRL's new chief executive has a host of ongoing problems which need to be cleared up.

Michael Carayannis runs his eye over the top five unresolved concerns which need to be addressed in the NRL.

1) Player pathways: Shane Richardson's 'blueprint' for rugby league has created plenty of uncertainty. A Platinum League, scrapping the national under-20s competition and capping ages where players can sign contracts or make their NRL debut has been mooted before Richardson returned to club land. Club bosses Peter Doust (St George Illawarra), Don Furner (Canberra), Jim Doyle (Warriors) and Paul White (Brisbane) have been appointed to a working group and will have another meeting on Friday to try and gain some clarity about the game's pathways.

2) Prescription drugs: There is a growing concern about the abuse of prescription drugs in the NRL. None more worrying than the near deaths of Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray, who if not for a friend hearing their erratic breathing and calling paramedics could have died. Parramatta captain Kieran Foran was also taken to hospital for a prescription drugs overdose last month. The New Zealand Warriors were rocked when a handful of players were stood down for mixing prescription drugs and energy drinks, leading to their axing for their last start win against St George Illawarra.

3) Club ownership/governance: The situation the Eels find themselves in highlights former NRL chief executive's desire to overhaul club's governance practices. The NRL is in the midst of finalising change of ownership structures for St George Illawarra and the Wests Tigers. Next for the NRL will be revamping their other owned club's — Newcastle and Gold Coast — as the game's governing body searches for new owners. The Titans are seeking a local buyer while there are suggestions the Knights will be sold for between $10-20 million.

4) Head office structure: Smith and Richardson have not been the only NRL executives to leave the game in recent months. Chief operating officer Suzanne Young has left and won't be replaced. Greenberg's former role as head of football is the most converted spot up for grabs within the game's Moore Park headquarters. Greenberg has told those hopeful of filling his shoes that he will take his time before finalising the make-up of his executive team.

5) Eligibility: Semi Radradra playing for the Kangaroos, club sides ruling players out of Test matches and a host of unknown rookies picked for the City versus Country game.

Questions have been asked about the relevance of the "representative round" after NRL sides showed their control over the international game. Radradra turning his back on his native Fiji left a sour taste in some people's mouths while the New Zealand Warriors suspended Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino and Bodene Thompson from Kiwi selection for breaking the club's rules. City coach Brad Fittler has also pondered the lifespan of the annual game in the bush after he scrambled to pick a team.

6) The bunker: Hailed as the greatest innovation in rugby league's history, the game's central command centre has come under fire in recent weeks. Roosters coach Trent Robinson has been a chief critic over the growing influence in the decision making from inside the NRL's bunker. Former NRL coach Ivan Cleary has been appointed as a part-time consultant to assist with the match review committee, judiciary and refereeing issues. Coaches asked last week at the NRL coaches meeting to wind back the influence of the bunker in foul play.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Redfern rumblings
Adrian Proszenko
SMH
May 07 2016

Three key staffers have left South Sydney in the space of a month, but the shake-up at Redfern is about to begin in earnest under Shane Richardson.

Rabbitohs recruitment manager Grant Jones, a former Bunnies player, was made redundant during the week. His departure is hot on the heels of that of Troy Thompson, who left to take up roles with representative footy teams. Souths Care ambassador Rhys Wesser is also gone. With Jones out of the way, Richardson will have the ultimate say on retention and recruitment and that should be a concern for some of the club's underperforming players. 'Richo' isn't happy with the playing roster at his disposal and has at least two forwards in his firing line. We're also hearing the club is keen on an immediate player swap with Chris Grevsmuhl – already signed to Penrith for 2017 – for one of the Jennings brothers at the foot of the mountains.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NRL’s Best Youngsters Set To Walk Due To Uncertainty Over Holden Cup
Matt Logue
The Daily Telegraph
May 7, 2016

SOME of the NRL’s best under-20s stars are in the firing line of rival codes ­because of the uncertainty around the competition’s future beyond 2017.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal a number of NRL clubs are refusing to sign 20s players on long-term deals because they don’t know if the competition will exist beyond next season. The salary cap for 2018 is also yet to be determined, which is making clubs ­reluctant to secure deals or even insert clauses.

It’s understood the NRL have encouraged some clubs to take this stance and the likes of Wests Tigers, Canberra, Parramatta and Gold Coast have ­followed suit.

This has created frustration for several players, player managers and clubs worried about the lack of security for our brightest young players.

One manager said: “The club wants to hold off because they don’t know what’s going on, but I’m trying to secure the kid’s future and it’s opening the door for the other clubs and codes.”

“Nobody can tell us anything about what is going on (with the cap or pathways), so we are just business as usual,” recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan said.

“We are just doing what we’ve done for the last 20 years and if it changes, we’ll worry about it then. We are not changing anything until someone tells us concrete details.”

At present the future pathways and strategy for the game, including the under-20s competition, is in the hands of a working subcommittee run by the clubs. Four CEOs — Paul White (Brisbane), Don Furner (Canberra), Jim Doyle (Warriors) and Peter Doust (Dragons) — are in charge of recommending a way forward for the code.

“There is a working party set up of the clubs and the NRL to work on the Shane Richardson plan for the pathways of the future,” an NRL spokesman said. “That will determine how the competition looks and how the second-tier competitions will look in the future.”
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