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SBD Global/December 14, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Players, Officials Say New National Rugby League CBA Is Waiting For Teams' Final Approval

Four National Rugby League players "stepped out of the headquarters of the NRL to state that they believed they had a deal," in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, according to Glenn Jackson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. A salary cap of about A$5.8M ($6.1M) next year, changes to the marquee player allowance, improved insurance and a minimum wage of A$80,000 "are believed to be part of a new CBA, which now just needs the final tick-off from the players before it is struck." The fact that those four players -- Robbie Farah, Clint Newton, Michael Crocker and Anthony Quinn -- not to mention Rugby League Players' Association CEO David Garnsey, "have given it their preliminary approval means the new deal is likely to be signed within days." The RLPA "will contact delegates from each NRL club, and, assuming there is no dissension, the players will have a new agreement in place before Christmas." Newton said, "Hopefully, everyone across the board will be happy with the outcome ... we wanted our bottom-tier players, our minimum-wage players looked after appropriately. We've certainly come a long way" (SMH, 12/14). In Sydney, Paul Kent reported "a significant shift in the NRL's initial position has broken the deadlock." The breakthrough in negotiations "ends any speculation of player strikes, beginning with next year's All Star game." Garnsey said, "We clearly got to a position by the end we were seeking to get to, or at least happy to get to. It has been hard fought without being nasty and aggressive." Garnsey is confident that "the players will endorse the new salary cap" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/14).
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