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Posted by RLPA

October 19, 2017

Five-day turnarounds reduced in 2018

The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) would like to commend the NRL on working with the players to deliver a fair and balanced draw for 2018, including further reductions to the number of five-day turnarounds.

Following on from a significant decrease last season (25 in 2017 compared with 43 in 2016), the NRL has worked with the RLPA and other key stakeholders to reduce the total number of five-day turnarounds in 2018 to just 24 despite significant challenges.

Measures are also in place to limit the impact of these five-day turnarounds – such as spreading them fairly across Clubs.

There were various factors that contributed to the number of five-day turnarounds in 2018, most notably that three are a direct result of ANZAC Day falling on a Wednesday next year.

RLPA CEO Ian Prendergast said the NRL must be commended for working with the players to help make significant advances in this area.

“Over the past two seasons, considerable progress has been made to improve this area,” Prendergast said. “From 2016 to 2018, the total number of five-day turnarounds will have decreased by almost 50%.”

“The RLPA would like to recognise the work of the NRL in addressing the concerns of players and managing these issues with our broadcasters and clubs.

“The balanced draw is a result of the ongoing collaborative approach that the NRL has taken in managing these issues.

“Five-day turnarounds have a significant impact on the overall health and safety of our members.

“It’s beneficial for the entire sport to have the players performing at their best and to do that they need adequate time to prepare and recover between matches.

“Whilst there is still room for improvement as we work towards all but eliminating five-day turnarounds in the future, we understand the challenges of balancing the competing interests involved – particularly next season with ANZAC Day clashes, stadium arrangements and requests from broadcasters and Clubs.

“The RLPA will continue working with all stakeholders over coming years to ensure the fairest NRL draw can be delivered and player health and safety remains a priority.”

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