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Mattiske pushes to lock cap for five years

Lucrative British offer ... Scott Prince.

Lucrative British offer ... Scott Prince. Photo: Getty Images

NRL interim chief executive Shane Mattiske maintained yesterday that plans to lock in salary caps for the life of the new broadcast deal remained a possibility despite the uncertainty surrounding future figures.

Mattiske said he would discuss the prospect of confirming the salary cap ceilings for the next five years - for the duration of the $1.025 billion broadcast deal with Channel Nine and Fox Sports - with the Rugby League Players' Association when talks with the union body resume.

The club chief executives met yesterday at Rugby League Central, and while future grants and caps were not finalised, further stalling the player market, Mattiske reiterated to them that they should be working off a $5 million salary cap next year, with further rises to be confirmed after talks with the players' association about the collective bargaining agreement.

"Mattiske reiterated ... that they should be working off a $5 million salary cap next year".

"Mattiske reiterated ... that they should be working off a $5 million salary cap next year". Photo: Tamara Voninski

Mattiske said he could not guarantee when the future salary caps could be locked in - but said the clubs would have long-term certainty when they are.

''That's absolutely something that we need to discuss with the RLPA,'' Mattiske said last night. ''It's a five-year broadcast deal, and we'll be discussing the term of the collective bargaining agreement. Clubs have communicated that they would prefer to have as much certainty as possible, and we'll be working with the players' association to deliver that.''

NRL officials would re-engage with the players' association in coming weeks, Mattiske said. ''We're waiting on the RLPA to confirm meeting dates,'' he said.

The uncertainty has left many clubs and players unwilling to make long-term decisions, given the size of the broadcast deal is likely to lead to significant salary cap increases. Many are waiting for confirmation before finalising longer-term deals, frustrating some. But Mattiske did not believe the delay had been detrimental to clubs.

What was confirmed yesterday was that the first four rounds of the premiership would start with a Thursday night fixture. That decision means rugby league will be broadcast on television five days a week for the opening month.

Mattiske said the new broadcasting deal had given the NRL the opportunity to try something different. ''The clubs today were positive about the opportunities ahead with the new broadcasting arrangements,'' Mattiske said. ''The new broadcasting agreements will provide more certainty for fans and a chance to try some exciting new concepts.

''This year's Thursday night kick-off [St George Illawarra against Newcastle in round one] was a real success, and the opportunity to extend that over four weeks is going to add an interesting dimension to those early weeks of the season.''

The prospect of Sydney Roosters, and Sonny Bill Williams, opening the season on a Thursday night against South Sydney - rather than his former club the Bulldogs - gained traction yesterday when the Roosters' new chief operating officer commercial Ted Helliar said it was the desire of his club to face the Rabbitohs first-up.

''Obviously it is the desire of both clubs to play against each other in round one as has been the case for a number of years,'' he told AAP.

Meanwhile, Gold Coast are not expected to stand in Scott Prince's way if their veteran No.7 receives an offer too good to refuse from English Super League club Hull.

Hull coach Peter Gentle and club director Shaun McRae will fly out next week in a bid to sign Prince on a three-year deal from next year, with Wests Tigers youngster Jacob Miller their back-up option.

Prince, 32, is contracted with the Titans until the end of 2014. But it is believed they won't stop their halfback snapping up a lucrative British deal that would free up some welcome salary cap space before the arrival of big-money signing David Taylor next season.

Hull have made no secret of their quest to lure Prince.

with AAP

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SOU 28 vs SYD 8 Report Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
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MEL 18 vs PEN 17 Report Stats
SYD 56 vs PAR 4 Report Stats
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GCT 12 vs WES 42 Report Stats
NEW 20 vs CAN 26 Report Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
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BRI 26 vs SYD 30 Report Stats
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PEN 18 vs BUL 16 Report Stats
CRO 12 vs STG 14 Report Stats
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CAN 12 vs GCT 24 Stats
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MEL 28 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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Round 4
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NZW 42 vs WES 18 Report Stats
PAR 32 vs PEN 16 Report Stats
BUL 40 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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SOU 18 vs CAN 30 Report Stats
NEW 30 vs CRO Report Stats
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GCT 13 vs NQL 12 Report Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD 8 vs BUL 9 Report Stats
BRI 18 vs PAR 25 Report Stats
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CRO 37 vs NZW 6 Report Stats
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MEL 26 vs GCT 28 Report Stats
WES 34 vs MAN 18 Report Stats
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Round 6
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NZW 20 vs BUL 21 Report Stats
MAN 24 vs CRO 4 Report Stats
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MEL 28 vs STG 24 Report Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 14 vs BUL 15 Report Stats
NEW 6 vs BRI 32 Report Stats
MAN 26 vs NQL 21 Report Stats
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CRO 18 vs SYD 24 Report Stats
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CAN 24 vs MEL 22 Report Stats
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PAR 18 vs WES 21 Report Stats
PEN 14 vs GCT 12 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STG 14 vs SYD 34 Report Stats
MEL 10 vs NZW 16 Report Stats
BRI 26 vs SOU 28 Report Stats
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CRO 24 vs PEN 20 Report Stats
NQL 42 vs PAR 14 Report Stats
BUL 16 vs NEW 12 Report Stats
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MAN 54 vs CAN 18 Report Report Stats
WES 6 vs GCT 22 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 30 vs WES 6 Report Stats
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GCT 18 vs SOU 40 Report Stats
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STG 6 vs BUL 38 Report Stats
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Round 10
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PAR 36 vs STG Report Stats
CRO 20 vs WES 22 Report Stats
NQL 42 vs SYD 10 Report Stats
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CAN 20 vs PEN 26 Report Stats
BUL 16 vs NZW 12 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BUL 12 vs SYD 32 Report Stats
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Round 12
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PEN 38 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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NZW 38 vs NEW 18 Report Stats
BRI 36 vs MAN 10 Report Stats
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SOU 29 vs STG 10 Report Stats
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Round 13
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Round 15
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NZW 19 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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MEL 46 vs PAR 20 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs STG 19 Report Stats
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Round 16
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PAR 10 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
BUL 23 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
Sat, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
STG 27 vs NQL 24 Report Stats
SYD 28 vs CRO 30 Report Stats
Sun, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WES 10 vs PEN 26 Report Stats
Mon, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
SOU 10 vs GCT 14 Report Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 40 vs WES 8 Report Stats
Sat, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW 48 vs PAR Report Stats
MEL 4 vs BUL 6 Report Stats
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GCT 20 vs CAN 36 Report Stats
CRO 18 vs NEW 31 Report Stats
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Round 19
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MEL 28 vs CAN 14 Report Stats
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CAN 27 vs WES 12 Stats
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