NRL players may pull out of the 2020 Origin series if they are moved into another bubble to keep the season alive, per News Corp.
According to club CEO’s, players are reportedly frustrated with having to be confined to staying in a bubble after leaving their homes and living as a collective since March.
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Players would be away from their families for a further six weeks if they want to represent their state in the upcoming series, with players featuring in the finals potentially moving straight into the Origin bubble from their current one.
“There’s no question at all that some players may look at not wanting to play,” said one CEO.
“Not because they don’t love Origin but COVID has put them in a bubble all season and they may not want to go into another bubble with summer here.
“And let’s not forget their reduced pay packet will also be taxed. It will be interesting.”
Origin squads are expected to be extended to 24-27 players as biosecurity guidelines limit players from joining their squad mid-series.
Players lining up for both Queensland and New South Wales will be hit with heavy pay cuts, with the budget for the 2020 Origin series slashed, with a reported 50% cut potentially coming into play.
Both the NRL and RLPA are in discussions to finalise budget figures for the upcoming series in November.
Origin players would usually receive close to $30,000 per game, with this season’s estimate dropping to $15,000.
Questions have been raised surrounding payment between featured players and extended roster players, with many believing big names won’t want to be placed in a bubble for little return.
“Some players can’t be in a position where they are in camp for six weeks and not being paid,” A reliable source told News Corp.
“It’s will probably be a tiered split where it’s likely that guys who play will get more than players that don’t but everyone will need to be paid something.
“You can’t have elite players who are in camp and not getting paid because they may not be playing.”