Cameron Smith Is Disappointed That It Has Come To This... And He Is Furious

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Cameron Smith Is Disappointed That It Has Come To This... And He Is Furious

Photo: @veggleton

Australia captain Cameron Smith has not ruled out strike action after being angered by the NRL's "inflammatory" response to the players' union's pay demands.

Smith took a swipe at the NRL, accusing them of misrepresenting the players' union's stance in pay talks.

Smith - who is also the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) general president - said it was disappointing the pay dispute was a distraction ahead of Wednesday night's State of Origin series opener in Brisbane.

"I think we are not given the share of revenue that the players deserve," said the Queensland skipper. Listen to the full audio below.

Smith was fuming over recent leaked NRL emails to all clubs that claimed the RLPA collective bargaining agreement proposal was unaffordable and showed "an apparent disregard for the game".

Asked if player strike action was now possible, Smith said: "We have some ideas in mind but hopefully it doesn't come to that".

Smith was livid over the "inflammatory language" in the NRL emails which claimed the RLPA's pay demands would destroy the game.

The NRL reportedly told clubs that the players' submission would threaten to eat into club grants that are believed to be 130 per cent of a salary cap and could reach as high as $10 million.

"I believe there was a document released from the NRL to the clubs with some fairly inflammatory words which are completely untrue," Smith said.

"That's the most disappointing part.

"We have entered this discussion wanting to grow the game but for certain people in the NRL to go back to the clubs and put an idea in their mind that the players are going to bring the game to its knees is really hard to believe to be honest."

Smith also questioned the NRL's handling of the game's finances.

"There's been a forecast of between $400 and $700 million that the game is going to bring in every year for the next five," he said.

"You give the clubs 130 per cent funding, the game is left with $192 million to run the game - that is working on $400 million coming in.

"If you can't run a game with $192 million that's a fair concern.

"Is the wrong administration in or are they spending money badly?"

Smith hoped to attend the RLPA's next round of talks with the governing body on June 5.

"There are a lot of issues around our game we want to discuss as well - transition of retired players, injury insurance, player development," Smith said.

"There are a lot of things we want to achieve through this CBA but we need to secure a shared revenue first to see if the NRL are genuine about us being partners in the game."

NSW captain Boyd Cordner claimed the players' demands were reasonable.

"We're just after a fair share of revenue in the game," he said.

"(But) it's not a distraction at all. We've got full support behind the RLPA."

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