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Angry players to cover NRL logo

Players are set to cover the NRL logo on their jerseys this weekend in protest at the stalled negotiations over a fresh collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

NRL and NRLW players will take part in the action as the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) turns up the heat on head office.

The move comes shortly after the RLPA introduced a boycott of player media duties on matchdays.

Covering the NRL logo on team jerseys was floated in the pre-season tournament before players called off their action, but they are set to follow through in the NRL’s upcoming Women in League round.

The RLPA have called for an independent mediator to resolve the stalemate after the NRL submitted a ‘take-it-or-leave it’ offer – but the union’s requests have fallen on deaf ears.

The players’ organisation says the NRL made “100 unreasonable and unacceptable changes” in their last offer.

The escalation in action is due to what the RLPA views as the NRL’s failure to get a bargaining agreement finalised, nine months after the previous arrangement expired.

Male players are operating on the terms of the previous CBA, while the women’s game has yet to get a fully fledged agreement of its own.

North Queensland Cowboys’ (and leading player) Chad Townsend said: “We are escalating our action as a playing group because the NRL have shown a complete lack of respect by not agreeing to what is a very reasonable path forward in negotiations.

“The NRL and NRLW players need our CBAs agreed as soon as possible, but we wont be dictated to by the Commission or NRL.”

But former stars of the game have lashed the move.

Braith Anasta asked, ‘what is it going to prove?’ while NRL legend Gorden Tallis said: “How does this change the colour of their jersey?

“I still know it is the Broncos jersey don’t I? I still know it is rugby league.” RLPA boss Clint Newton also copped a battering after the decision.