The NRL’s glitzy annual season launch has been cancelled, clubs have been told, amid the ongoing dispute between the clubs and the governing body.
The NRL’s decision averted any embarrassment for the governing body if the players had decided to boycott the high-profile event following the ongoing collective bargaining agreement dispute.
The financial terms of the CBA have been finalised in principle but there are still matters to sort out before an NRLW contract window can open, Australian Associated Press reported.
The finer details of bridging contracts are being completed which will allow players to sign with NRLW clubs during the contract window, ahead of the CBA getting the green light by all parties. Then the bridging contracts will be updated to fully fledged NRLW contracts.
The parties are hopeful this can be done seamlessly and within a short timeframe.
It came as Jillaroos star Evania Pelite said that she wanted to sign with the Gold Coast Titans and work towards winning an NRLW title, but could only do so once the NRL ended its dispute with clubs and the RLPA.
Pelite won gold with the Australian Rugby Sevens side in 2016 at the Olympics in Rio and was a member of the Jillaroos side that won the World Cup last year.
She has been in discussions with Titans coach Karyn Murphy and club officials about playing her third season with the club.
“I don’t know too much at this point in time. I’m having those conversations now,” she said.
“It is a big win for the women’s game, the opportunity to have those conversations. Hopefully now players aren’t too far off securing a contract and a little bit of security.
“I do love the Gold Coast Titans. They have been great. They have supported me on and off the field and ideally that’s where I would like to end up for my third season, and they are aware of that.”
The 27-year-old said she had achieved everything in Rugby Sevens and was committed to rugby league.
“I am now looking to stamp my mark in the NRLW. I’d love to play in a premiership-winning team,” she said.
“Last year I was able to tick off playing for the Maroons and the Jillaroos, I’d just love to add that premiership.”
Winning with the Maroons at State of Origin is also high on her agenda.
“I’d love the opportunity to go back and take the title off NSW,” she said.