A NEW logo to be worn by every player from under 6s to the NRL premiership will be unveiled today, along with a strategic plan for the game until 2018.
Details of the logo and the strategic plan will be outlined by ARL Commission chairman John Grant and interim chief executive Shane Mattiske to a gathering of the game's leading officials at League Central.
The key initiatives in the five-year strategic plan include:
❏ to provide clubs with the fundamentals for growth;
❏ increase participation;
❏ grow the fan base;
❏ deliver community outcomes, and;
❏ increase financial resources.
All NRL club chief executives and chairmen have been invited to attend today's announcement.
However, the two key issues facing players and clubs the amount of the salary cap and the annual grant remain unresolved.
It is believed both feature in the strategic plan but no details will be provided and the main announcements today will be the new logo and the implementation of a national development program.
Grant declined to discuss what was contained in the strategic plan or confirm the new logo ahead of the announcement.
"I'm not able to provide any detail in advance other than to say we'd hope the plan provides leadership across the game that can be followed by the state leagues, the NRL clubs and all of the other game stakeholders," Grant said. "On branding, that will have to wait until tomorrow."
The logo is understood to closely resemble one published in The Sun-Herald on July 22, which features two gold chevrons and the southern cross on a green shield.
It was officially registered by the ARLC as a trademark on July 13 and accepted on September 21.
The Herald was told that the same logo will be used across the game but in different colours, such as sky blue and royal blue for the NSWRL, for state and other affiliated bodies.
The State of Origin and Test team logos will remain as they are considered iconic but every other level of the game will eventually feature the new NRL branding.
The move is a bid to end years of confusion, particularly at grassroots level, where development officers often complain that juniors don't understand the relationship between the NRL and ARL, NSWRL or CRL.
A united approach to development also features in the strategic plan, with a new game development management team appointed.
The restructure was overseen by ARLC league integration and game development general manager Andrew Hill, and includes the establishment of a national participation manager.
NSWRL coaching and development manager Martin Meredith has been appointed to the role, and he will work alongside former ARL development operations manager Steve Palin, who is the national game development manager.
Previously, ARL Development, the NSWRL, QRL, CRL and other bodies ran their own development programs but they will now be managed by the new body, which features Luke Ellis (NSW), Brad Donald (Queensland) and Graham McNaney (affiliated states) as state managers.
Other appointments include Brad Levy as education, training and research manager, and Michael Asensio as game development operations manager.