Greenberg shares Bennett burnout concern

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg says he understands Wayne Bennett’s player burnout concerns, but believes the league has already moved to address them.

Brisbane master coach Bennett feared the Broncos’ tough State of Origin period schedule could derail his side’s season, but felt there was no point complaining to the NRL.

“What’s the point? It’s not going to change,” he said.

“Everyone has their say on it, but nothing changes.”

Bennett was livid that his Queensland stars had to start the Origin period by playing three games in eight days.

After the June 1 series opener in Sydney, Brisbane take on the Warriors on June 4 in Auckland and host Canberra on June 9.

After Origin II on June 22, Brisbane’s Origin players must play three games in nine days.

Greenberg said he also shared Bennett’s concerns, but believed the NRL had made moves to alleviate demands on players.

He said five-day turnarounds had not increased this season and would be reduced next year with the end of Monday night football.

Greenberg said the NRL would address it further under the new broadcast deal from 2018.

“It would be fair to say Wayne and I don’t agree on every issue in rugby league, but Wayne does raise some important points and they do relate to player welfare,” Greenberg said during a live Twitter Q&A.

“When we take control of the scheduling in 2018, one of our priorities will be to look at the five-day turnaround.

“We have worked very hard this year to make sure the number hasn’t increased from previous years.

“One thing I can assure you is that next year five-day turnarounds will reduce once we see Monday night football removed.”

In other moves to alleviate burnout, the competition will be reduced by a round from 2018 and the second match in each Origin series will be played on a Sunday night as part of a stand-alone weekend of representative football.

“It’s on-going,” Greenberg said of addressing burnout issues.

“People like Wayne Bennett who has coached 700 games clearly have opportunities to display their views.

“We don’t always agree, but we will always listen and make decisions in the best interests of the sport and our players.”

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