NRL players are seeking to become genuine partners and help grow the game, according to new RLPA General President Cameron Smith.
The Storm skipper was elected to his new position at an RLPA General Meeting on Monday night and wasted little time in expanding on the players’ intentions to help expand rugby league.
The RLPA and NRL are soon to engage in CBA negotiations, with a fixed percentage of revenue and player welfare set to be key items on the agenda.
“We want to become genuine partners in the game, we want to work alongside the administration to make the game better,” Smith said.
“There is a lot of ideas that Todd (Greenberg) and his team have moving forward in the next five years that he needs the players to be a part of to grow the game. We most definitely want to be a part of that.
“We have some ideas of our own that we’d like to share but until we are made genuine partners in the game that is going to be hard to do.”
"Another topic we want to discuss is systems or plans in place for retired players. From being a professional football to their next career in life, making that transition as easily as they can. We've seen several issues in recent years with elite sports men and women so that is fairly high on our agenda as well.
Smith is passionate about representing all players, who not only play NRL currently but aspire to in the future.
With the unity displayed in this current crop of players, Smith is confident and fair and desirable outcome will be reached.
“It is the strongest group that we’ve had since I started my career,” he said.
“We are all united with our messaging towards the NRL. Todd Greenberg and his team have had open ears to what we want to talk about.
“That is a really pleasing thing to hear and I think he is quite keen to get the best possible result for all parties, not just the NRL and the players but for the fans, members and all the kids aspiring to be NRL players.”