Penrith coach Anthony Griffin has urged the Rugby League Players’ Association to get its house in order to better tackle NRL player welfare issues.
Concern over player burnout continues to mount in the NRL over a questionable schedule for the 2016 season.
The game’s governing body has made no moves to reduce the workload placed on players next season, with the same number of five-day turnarounds in 2016 as in 2015.
Sydney Roosters are the worst hit with seven short turnarounds, followed by Manly with five.
Penrith are not as badly affected but Griffin said for the matter to be properly dealt with the RLPA needs to rally around the cause.
“I think only the players can control their welfare and until they get themselves organised enough to want to do that we are talking about things we can’t control,” Griffin said.
“At the moment with sports science and sports medicine and recovery programs that are in all clubs they protect the players fairly well.
“But as far as the endurance side of it, how many games they are playing and when they are played (I’m not sure.)”
RLPA chief executive David Garnsey was moved aside in August by leading players unhappy with his efforts.
New RLPA boss Clint Newton has expressed his displeasure with player welfare elements of the 2016 draw released by the NRL on Friday.
However, Griffin warned that broadcasters Channel Nine, Fox Sports and Telstra – who stumped $1.8 billion for seasons 2018-2022 – would always have a say in the draw.
“While there is $2 billion coming into the game there is not much control you have over that if you want that reward,” Griffin said.
“But my biggest message to the players’ association is until they really want to take control of that it isn’t going to change.”