janvier 28, 2023

NRL news 2023, the Mole, players threaten trials boycott after salary cap ambush

3 min read

The NRL trials next month are in jeopardy of being boycotted by a lightning strike from players.

Players and the RLPA are fuming with the NRL over the way contract negotiations have been handled in recent months.

The players won’t go as far as striking during the regular season – but see boycotting the two rounds of meaningless trials as an ideal way of hurting the NRL.

READ MORE: Abdo responds after ‘scary’ reality of pay war laid bare



« They won’t listen to us and have driven us to this point, » an angry player told Wide World of Sports.

« They ambushed us by announcing the salary cap without even informing or consulting us.

« Now they are trying to paint us out as greedy and money-hungry.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo (Getty)

« Most of our claims are for helping retired players, the women in the game and grassroots footy.

« We keep hitting brick walls and need to show them that we mean business. »

TEEN STAR WANTS OUT OF BRONCOS

Australian Schoolboys captain Karl Oloapu has met with rival clubs after being given permission to negotiate by the Broncos.

Oloapu is in the middle of a bitter battle with Brisbane, refusing to train with the club after claiming conditions in his contract were not met.

The Broncos stuck to their guns when Wide World of Sports revealed the dispute a few months back but now realise the youngster is a lost cause for them after he declared « I will never play for Brisbane as long as I live ».

Brisbane will reluctantly let him go, but want a hefty transfer fee for his services.

Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins remain favourites to sign the 18-year-old sensation, but he also met with Bulldogs boss Phil Gould this week.

Teenage superstar Karl Oloapu is engaged in a contract standoff with the Brisbane Broncos. (Zak Simmonds)

BIG DOG SUFFERS SETBACK

Marquee Bulldogs recruit Viliame Kikau has had a minor setback to his preparation for his start in the blue and white.

Kikau hurt his quad at training last week and couldn’t complete the session, immediately putting the injury on ice.

It’s a repeat injury and caused the medical staff some concern, but once he cooled down, it was deemed only a minor strain.

The big guy will take it easy at training for the next couple of weeks and is a certainty to get a few minutes in at least one of the Bulldogs’ trials before the start of the season in March.

Viliame Kikau has joined the Bulldogs. (Getty)

FORMER NRL STAR EYES RETURN

Could former Warriors player David Fusitu’a be heading back to the NRL?

After eight seasons with the Warriors, Fusitu’a moved to Super League last season but his time with the Leeds club hasn’t been happy.

Still only 28, Fusitu’a played just 14 games for the club in 2022, scoring five tries.

Rumours persist that he is not happy in England and he was given an extended leave over the Christmas break to return home to New Zealand.

He was named to play in a trial against Leigh last weekend but then mysteriously pulled out at the last minute, allegedly because of illness.

Word is he is looking to have another crack at the NRL – depending on whether Leeds will let him go.

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