Controversial NRL draw to remain as it is

The Sydney Roosters are among a handful of NRL clubs disadvantaged by the 2016 draw.
The Sydney Roosters are among a handful of NRL clubs disadvantaged by the 2016 draw. Cameron Spencer

The NRL will not change next year's draw despite player anger over the number of five-day turnarounds between games.

Representatives of the NRL have met with the Rugby League Players Association to discuss a range of concerns about player welfare, largely brought on by the short turnarounds some clubs have been dealt for season 2016.

In what is clearly an unfair situation, Manly, West Tigers and the Roosters each have four five-day turnarounds in the first 20 rounds, Manly's short weeks all coming between rounds four and nine.

Incredibly, two of them are in consecutive rounds, with the Sea Eagles having just five days to recover from their round three game against Cronulla on a Monday night before taking on the Roosters on Saturday night in round four, and Souths the following Thursday night.

Canberra and Newcastle have been handed three five-day turnarounds, and underlining the inequity of the situation, the Warriors and Gold Coast Titans do not have any.

NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said adding in Thursday night games in 2016 to bring in more money from broadcasters had contributed to the problem.

He also said scrapping Monday night games from 2017 would help cut the number of five-day turnarounds in that season by 25%.

"We were in a position during the recent broadcast negotiations to generate a significant amount of future revenue for the game by having a further season of matches across five days - from Thursday to Monday - in 2016," Greenberg said.

"But our broadcast partners were ultimately supportive of our very clear stance that player wellbeing is a priority and, given our desire to improve upon the current incidences of short turnarounds, Monday Night Football would not form part of the schedule from 2017."

Greenberg also said the NRL was continuing to do research to identify what impact five-day turnarounds, training loads, travel, and the length of the season had on players.

Topics:  nrl rugby league

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