The NRL and the RLPA have agreed to a range of measures in order to assist player wellbeing in the event of five-day turnarounds during the 2016 season.
As part of the measures, the NRL has agreed to fund extra accommodation for travelling teams, as well as pursue extra provisions for Clubs through airline partners.
In the event of five-day turnarounds involving travel, the NRL will work with clubs to provide extra accommodation in order to reduce the impact of travel, as well as assist with recovery measures where appropriate.
The NRL is working with its airline partner to provide clubs with complimentary airline lounge memberships, along with other measures designed to reduce the impact of five-day turnarounds.
“We made a commitment to the RLPA to work with them to limit the impact of five-day turnarounds and we have agreed on some important measures,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.
“They will all add up to better preparation and recovery for our players.
“Following our discussions with the RLPA last year about five-day turnarounds, we undertook to explore a range of measures to offset the impact of five-day turnarounds in 2016. These measures will go a long way towards addressing some of those challenges.”
RLPA General President, Clint Newton, has welcomed the measures.
“Our players are professional footballers and to perform at their best they need the right support, resources and facilities to prepare and to recover,” said Newton.
“Importantly the NRL has announced that in 2017 it will target a 25 per cent reduction in the number of five-day turnarounds and we hope that from 2018, when the NRL has control of the draw, there will be a further reduction.
“We’ll continue to work with clubs and the NRL to find the right balance between protecting player health and safety and recognising the commercial realities of promoting our great game.
“The best outcome for everyone is to ensure player workloads and the draw, including representative fixtures, allow us to maximise the growth of rugby league, while ensuring the best players are available to play as often as possible.”