Posted: 19 November, 2016

Radical Changes Proposed For The NRL In 2018

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The NRL are looking to introduce two new state-based competitions, run in NSW and QLD from 2018 following the axing of the U20s Holden Cup.

Each comp is expected to have 16 second-tier clubs, with NRL clubs encouraged to form partnerships with two of the teams to act as feeders for the first grade comp.

“The new model is designed to provide a clearer pathway for elite junior players aiming to play in the NRL,” NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan said.
 
“We have been concerned for some time about the welfare issues affecting many young players struggling to cope with the pressures of the NYC.
 
“This model will enable more juniors to stay at home, rather than having to move away from their families, to play Rugby League."

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga praised the change, with this helping direct player pathways.

“The new model will not only help to expand the game both in Australia and overseas but it will provide better protection for young players at risk of developing welfare issues and being forced out of the game," Meninga said.

“So I can see the revised structure leading to better quality football on the field and a better support system for our young players off the field.”

According to an NRL press release, the new model will increase the number of players that the NRL includes in their fulltime squad, and there are also salary cap discussions underway.

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