NRL Press Conference
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V'landys speaks to the media during a NRL press conference at Rugby League Central on September 03, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Rugby League Players Association chief executive Clint Newton has taken a firm stance against any changes to the NRL August 1 transfer deadline without discussion.

The issue arises after Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys told News Corp last Monday that he was preparing to recommend the date be moved back to June 30. A sentiment Newton is only open to after player consultation.

Speaking to News Corp, he said “Ultimately the point is this is an employment matter and it is not a decision for the commission alone.

"It has been positioned as this doomsday, deadline of chaos. Let’s stop and take a look at the big picture here — we are talking about a couple of players who have temporarily swapped clubs, one of which hasn’t played first grade for months”

The players he refers to are Tigers duo David Nofoaluma and Oliver Glidart, who left the struggling inner west club to join top eight sides just before the window closed. Late moves like these have drawn claims of clubs “buying premierships”, which Newton disagrees with.

“I think it is a big call to accuse clubs of buying premierships when we are really talking about a couple of players here who are going to benefit from a loan system that was done with good intentions and works," Newtown said.

The deadline was moved initially as a Covid measure, but many now agree with V’landys that it is time to change back. Newton is open to the change but insists on player negotiation.

“Whenever there is discussion about employment matters or rights that are as fundamental as this one, which is free agency, you can’t talk about it as if it is not going to be negotiated," he added.

“You can’t just make a change like that. We definitely need to review the timing of it ... but let’s not conflate the two.

“One is the timing factor that absolutely needs to be discussed. The other is an employment right that would ultimately result in a restraint of trade.”


  1. Just a bit trade-union posturing. Understandable given the Peter V’landys likes doing his own thing and making whatever decisions he thinks need to be made.

    Mr Newton needs to say what he has says to remind Mr V’landys that the RLPA still exists, and needs to be treated with respect. T

    here is minimal chance of a restraint of trade claim succeeding. A move to return the cut-off date to 30 June would merely change it back to what it was before the COVID crisis. Mr V’landys would undoubtedly say that over the last two years a lot of short-term changes were necessary to keep the game alive, and changing the cut-off date for loans and transfers was one of those changes. The changes are now all being wound back – no more bubbles, NSW Cup running again, Qld Cup running again etc – and the need for the extended cut-off no longer exists.

    It would be hard to argue against that, but that’s not what Mr Newton really wants to do.

Comments are closed.