After the NRL secured a long-term free-to-air contract, the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) is hoping to quickly sign off on terms of a renewed collective bargaining agreement.
The announcement on Monday of the NRL's five-year agreement with Nine Entertainment follows deals reached with Fox Sports and New Zealand's Sky over the past year, which gives the game a guaranteed broadcast revenue north of $400 million per year until 2027.
"Now we have certainty on a fair chunk of our revenue, we will engage with the players and the RLPA over a CBA," NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said.
The current CBA expires in 2022 with the operation of the integrity unit, an agreement for NRLW players and the NRL's transfer system all topics high on the agenda of RLPA chief executive Clint Newton.
Speaking at the Jack Newton Classic in the Hunter Valley, Newton said he was confident of securing a deal in "record time".
"I'm confident it will be a speedy process if the players, NRL and clubs come to the table in the right frame of mind," Newton told AAP.
"It's not just about take home pay and salaries but what money we are investing into wellbeing and education, the women's game, transitional support to players as well as making sure that the integrity framework has transparency around it."
One key area which the RLPA will be asking for greater input into is that of rule changes.
The advent of the six-again rule in 2020 and its subsequent tweaks ithis year have led to increased blow-out scorelines across the competition.
The NRL has admitted it will consider changes to the rule, with Newton of the belief players need to form part of any dialogue.
"I think there have been some valuable lessons learned over the last few years," he said.
"Having the players at the table, particularly when they're charged with not only playing the game but promoting it, is critical.
"It's important that their views are respectfully considered.
'Many codes don't have the power to veto rule changes, and we would never look for that because that isn't our role.
"We want to provide honest feedback and I think we have an opportunity to do that."
A CBA for the NRLW, which expands to six teams in 2022, is also a priority.
"I don't think we are far away from having some full-time (female) athletes," Newton said.
"First and foremost, we need to secure a CBA for women.
"We're the only major code in this country that doesn't have a CBA.
"The NRL has made some commitments to work through that."
Australian Associated Press
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