It is understood by the NRL clubs that their top tier squads will be reduced from 30 players to 28 for the 2021 season.

The negotiations between NRL officials and the Rugby League Players Association continue with no definitive verdict on salary cap or squad sizes for next season set by head office.

“That is absolutely at the forefront of where we are spending our time and our energy,” Abdo told the NRL website.

“We’re in regular dialogue with the RLPA around our agreement with the players. We’re in regular dialogue with the clubs around the club funding model and we’re in regular dialogue with the states.”

If the idea to drop to 28 on an NRL roster does go ahead it could leave the future of more than 30 first grade players in limbo.

Clubs are also anticipating a drop down from the current three to six development players, as it is set to be whittled down between two and four.

“Obviously everyone is seeking clarity sooner rather than later. That is a real focus and a priority that the Commission has set for us,” Abdo said.

“And we expect to have those finalized in the coming weeks, certainly hopefully before the end of our season.”

Reducing the roster could leave the futures of players such as Wests Tigers veteran Benji Marshall up in the air.

One coach told that carrying an extra half such as Marshall is possible in a 30-man squad, but reduced numbers could change all of that.

“That will probably be his biggest hurdle, the fact each squad is getting smaller,” said New Zealand interim coach Todd Payten.