National Rugby League Releases 2013 Schedule; Sets Up Supplement Guidelines
National Rugby League club Brisbane Broncos "will have 10 consecutive Friday night games to open the 2014 season in what rivals believe is an unfair advantage after the NRL draw was released," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The NRL season "will open with three blockbusters, highlighted by Ben Barba’s clash against former club Canterbury." The fact the Broncos will have 10 consecutive free-to-air matches -- and do not have a single Monday night game all year -- "will have their rivals up in arms." All but one match "will be played at night or twilight during the opening three rounds to prevent the players from being exposed to the summer heat." The other big talking point "will be the return of the Saturday 3pm timeslot, a change that fans have been agitating for" (SMH, 12/4).
DRUG GUIDELINES: The AAP reported NRL club doctors "will no longer report to coaches as part of a raft of measures introduced to help avoid a repeat of the doping scandal which engulfed Cronulla this season." A meeting of NRL CEOs on Wednesday was told "each club would be required to set up a supplement committee which would approve and oversee the distribution of supplements to players." Clubs "will also be required to give the NRL a list of supplements being used." In other developments at Wednesday's Sydney gathering, club bosses were told that "proposed salary cap changes would be presented in February" (AAP, 12/4).