1 Dec 2015

Thurston says NRL players could disrupt start to new season

9:26 am on 1 December 2015

National Rugby League games could be disrupted at the start of next season according to the code's biggest name, Johnathan Thurston.

Johnathan Thurston

Johnathan Thurston Photo: Photosport

Players have been left frustrated with ongoing complications in the signing of the Collective Bargaining Agreement as well as the number of five-day turnarounds in the 2016 draw, and Thurston says enough is enough.

"We don't want to be threatening in any way but it has just got to come to a point where the players have had enough," Thurston told News Corp Australia.

"I am very disappointed and also angry. We thought we had made some progress up until this point.

"But we have taken quite a few steps backwards here."

Thurston also accused the NRL of repeatedly walking over the Rugby League Players Association ahead of general president Clint Newton's meeting with the head of football Todd Greenberg and ARL Commission chairman John Grant today.

"It is like we are not getting the respect of the NRL," Thurston said.

"It is pretty poor that they promised us a seat at the table (before the draw was negotiated) and they don't take us up on that.

"It just goes to show what they think of the RLPA."

Thurston praised the way the RLPA had grown since he first came into the NRL in 2002.

The 2015 Golden Boot world player of the year threatened to miss this year's Dally M Medal, which he subsequently won, as a result of industrial action.

Thirty-one five-day turnarounds have been scheduled for the first 20 rounds of the 2016 NRL season, with six rounds still yet to be scheduled.


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