2 Dec 2015

No change to 2016 NRL draw

6:36 am on 2 December 2015

The National Rugby League and Rugby League Players' Association conceded there'd be no changes to the competition draw for 2016 despite ongoing concerns about the management of player workloads.

Johnathan Thurston

Johnathan Thurston Photo: Photosport

Representatives of the two groups met yesterday to nut out the issue after the RLPA and a number of players had expressed concerns about clubs having multiple five-day turnarounds between matches again in 2016.

But, despite the NRL conceding it "hadn't followed the consultation process as agreed with the RLPA" about discussing the issue prior to the draw being locked away, both bodies agreed changes couldn't be considered until 2017.

"I have told RLPA general president Clint Newton and chief executive Ian Prendergast that we are targeting a 25 percent reduction in five-day turnarounds in the 2017 season," NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said.

"Both parties today acknowledged that it was not possible to change next years draw."

Greenberg said the talks with the RLPA had been productive and agreed further work would be done over the next fortnight, prior to the next ARL Commission meeting.

"Player wellbeing is a priority for the NRL and we are very mindful of the feedback from the playing group that they wish to see a decrease in five-day turnarounds," he said.

"We have a unique situation in 2016 where we will have premiership matches from Thursday to Monday regularly and that created some challenges in terms of turnarounds."

The Warriors, unlike the Sydney and Queensland clubs, have no five day turnarounds in their schedule but do travel to Perth for one of their games.

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