NRL tackles draft issue - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL tackles draft issue

By Glenn Cullen 20/11/2002 07:48:48 PM Comments (0)

The National Rugby League looks set to pursue a player draft system after club representatives strongly backed the move at a conference.

The NRL conference, which included club chairmen, chief executives, captains and coaches, had informal discussions on a range of issues but the need to create a level playing field for clubs surpassingly emerged as the hot topic of the day.

"It is safe to say that there was perhaps more support for the concept of a draft than may have been expected," said NRL chief executive David Gallop after day one of the two day meeting.

"The issue is one that still requires an enormous amount of work but we received some important direction from the game's key people today.

"It's clear the players and the clubs appreciate the need to reduce the gap between clubs so that fans heighten their sense of anticipation around each and every game."

While the issue of a draft for the NRL is hardly new, several chief executives expressed their surprise at across the board support for the concept.

"It was a refreshing aspect of the day actually, I would have probably expected some opposition from wealthy leagues clubs backing them but I think in the general scheme of things it's to the benefit of the game," said South Sydney chief executive David Tapp.

"While it wasn't officially sanctioned there today I think the NRL was given the charter to give it serious consideration."

The draft system, which was introduced to AFL in 1986, has proved successful in creating a more even competition in that code, with just one team - Fremantle - not making a finals series in the last six years.

As expected the NRL has agreed to push for a "sudden death" extra time period in premiership games, eliminating drawn matches from the competition.

Club representatives said they did not believe such a step would adversely affect players, although interchange allowances would be considered and the possible effects on broadcasting also needed to be taken into account.

The State of Origin - which the initial idea of extra time came from following a drawn series this year - may go down the same path but its ruling body, the Australian Rugby League, will need to sanction it.

There was also debate on the anti-tampering issue and the June 30 negotiating date for players in the last year of their contract.

Players made it clear that there was unanimous support from their annual general meeting that the date should not be moved.

On games issues it was agreed that the coaches should meet with new referees' coach Robert Finch before the start of the season to clarify referees' interpretations, particularly in the area of the play the ball.

Referees appeared to get a green light for their performances last season - NRL statistics showing that the whistleblowers made on average only one and two errors per game.

The meeting also discussed a review of the McIntyre finals system with some support offered for using an AFL style format which it was felt gave extra reward to the teams that had finished highest in the minor premiership.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news