NRL pre-season getting too packed: Smith

Cameron Smith admits “something has to give” in the NRL’s busy pre-season after the future of the All Stars clash again came under question.

Smith said he would rather play the All Stars clash than the NRL Auckland Nines and admitted the crammed pre-season may need to be addressed by the powers that be.

“Maybe something has to give but at the moment that’s our calendar and the guys are trying to satisfy the schedule but unfortunately you can’t have all the stars playing in every match,” he said.

The future of the All Stars match – to be held at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night – is again under question in its sixth year due to waning public interest and player welfare issues.

Injuries have also marred the lead-up to the All Stars clash.

Nine players have pulled out of the original 20-strong World All Stars squad while five are unavailable for the Indigenous team.

Besides the Nines and All Stars, the NRL pre-season also includes the World Club Series in the UK plus inter-club trials.

The season proper kicks off on March 3.

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