NRL stars won't rule out strike - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL stars won't rule out strike

By David Beniuk 05/08/2010 06:49:58 PM Comments (0)

A strike by NRL stars over the independent commission would be a last resort, but players union boss David Garnsey has warned he can't rule one out completely.

Garnsey's comments come a day after NRL club chairmen upped the pressure on negotiators to ensure the new body to run the league was in place by November 1.

The Rugby League Players Association has backed the commission and shares the frustration of NRL clubs with what Wests Tigers chairman David Trodden has called "procrastination" in the negotiations.

Reports emerged last week of a club-instigated player boycott of the end of season Four Nations tournament managed by the Australian Rugby League, but Garnsey said the RLPA had no knowledge of any such plans.

But future circumstances could change that, he said.

"I can't say they never would," he told AAP on Thursday.

"It's not a step we would take lightly, that's for sure, because it's obviously a very extreme action and has all sorts of legal implications.

"While I can't possibly say never ever because who knows what circumstances will arise, it would have to be almost like a last resort.

"We obviously endorse the negotiating way of proceeding rather than the boycott-slash-strike if that can be avoided."

Garnsey is still disappointed at the snubbing of an RLPA submission suggesting it have a voice on the commission, which is being negotiated by NRL co-owners News Ltd and the ARL.

"The players have always been supportive of the independent commission," he said.

"You can't be much more supportive of the concept than that, not just wanting it but wanting to be in it.

"I was a little disappointed that no one actually sent me a note saying thank you for your submission ... I didn't get anything like that."

He said he had been given the impression by negotiators that they believed the RLPA could hold things up months before the current impasse.

"The impression I got was that the idea was not thrown out of hand and maybe would be revisited down the track once the commission was established," he said.

But, like the clubs and league supporters, Garnsey is finding the progress of the commission talks hard to follow.

News and the ARL have agreed to a model but the Queensland Rugby League wants changes and has backed their stance with legal advice.

"Frankly at times (it) is a bit mysterious for me to understand exactly what its status is and what needs to be done to kick it along," Garnsey said.

"Getting through that darkness, that mysteriously shrouded information, is difficult for me because I'm not directly involved in the discussions.

"No one from News or the ARL is talking to me about it, I'm not quite sure what I should believe."

ARL chairmen Colin Love would only say negotiations are proceeding "as normal" on Thursday, while News Ltd did not return AAP's call.

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