Players want more of Origin pie - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Players want more of Origin pie

By Wayne Heming and Brent Read 24/06/2003 08:40:04 PM Comments (0)

Rugby league officials are facing an Origin-style battle from the game's elite players demanding a greater share of the $10 million bonanza from this year's series.

Origin stars currently receive $5,000 per game with a $2,500 bonus to the players on the winning side, significantly less than their cricket and rugby union counterparts.

The players take home only six per cent of the windfall the game will reap from the most successful Origin series in its history.

It prompted Queensland coach Wayne Bennett to warn officials they needed to address the players' concerns.

The issue has been brewing since the NRL partnership committee - the game's policy brokers - deferred a recommendation from the Australian Rugby League board last month to increase payments for this year's series.

As the issue threatened to overshadow the sellout second game, NRL chief executive David Gallop revealed the players could yet receive a bonus payment after Origin III.

However, it's believed that figure would be nowhere near the $10,000 the players are chasing.

"I think they had a wonderful chance a month ago to address it and to solve it very easily," said Bennett, who warned league officials of impending pay problems a month ago.

"Again we're so slow to learn in our game.

"It was always going to be an issue, blind Freddie could see that.

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