Cooper Cronk Drops Statement That Could Rock NRL

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Cooper Cronk Drops Statement That Could Rock NRL

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Cooper Cronk has not ruled out a players strike to support their union's pay demands after accusing the NRL of misleading behaviour for a second time during talks.

The Test and Queensland halfback was angry the NRL claimed Rugby League Players Association representatives stormed out of the latest round of negotiations on Tuesday.

A scheduled two-day meeting between the two parties ended after just three hours, when it was made clear the league wouldn't agree to the RLPA's push for a revenue-share model.

"The thing that really disappoints me is the NRL have been misrepresenting us in terms of walking out yesterday," said Cronk at Queensland's Origin camp on the Gold Coast.

"That is absolutely not true. I think we need to have some transparency around that.

"I understand in negotiations there is going to be to-ing and fro-ing but to mislead the public in terms of players walking out and disrespecting the negotiations is unfair and not true."

The NRL and RLPA are still confident the pay negotiations won't descend into a deadlock similar to that crippling Australian cricket, also over the issue of revenue sharing.

However, Cronk was not so positive on Wednesday after what he claimed was a second show of disrespect by the NRL.

Cronk also accused the NRL of emailing clubs in May and claiming the players' union CBA proposal was unaffordable and showed "an apparent disregard for the game".

"We understand there will be some robust conversation but at the end of the day we want some respect," Cronk said.

"That's the second time the NRL has misrepresented us.

"First time was when our proposal was re-worded and edited to the clubs, and No.2 being misrepresented yesterday.

"We will never disrespect the game or fans but in saying that you need to make decisions on how we can get a desired outcome for both parties."

Asked about possible strike action, Cronk said: "If this continues there are options, no doubt about that."

Players from both the Queensland and NSW teams have shelved interstate rivalry ahead of July 12's State of Origin series decider in Brisbane to don RLPA hats when they front media this week.

"This is the biggest game of rugby league on the calendar and our elite players are banding together in what is usually modern day warfare - we are all on the same page," Cronk said.

"So we look forward to a genuine partnership and that shared revenue model but if that doesn't occur there are options."

RLPA CEO Ian Prendergast on Wednesday was still confident they could avoid cricket's fate.

More than 200 Australian cricketers are unemployed after a June 30 deadline to reach a new pay deal with Cricket Australia passed.

"We're ahead of certainly where the cricketers are at the moment," Prendergast told Sky Sports Radio.

"We don't want to end up in a situation like that which is why we're working extremely hard to progress it in a timely manner."

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