An NRL Club Chief Executives meeting has seen all 16 NRL Clubs commit to working with the NRL in a joint approach to finalising new integrity measures that address emerging threats such as peptide hormone use.
Clubs will work with the new NRL integrity unit over coming weeks to develop reporting systems, accreditation models, compliance procedures and review all future testing options.
“We want to ensure a drug free game and the clubs are strong in their support of that aim,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr Dave Smith, said today.
“Their attitude today underlined how seriously they have been focussed on integrity as an issue but we need to be conscious of dealing with new substances and new threats.
“All sixteen clubs see themselves as playing a role with the NRL and they couldn’t have been more supportive.
“Everyone regrets the focus on individual teams but, again, all sixteen clubs see themselves as being active in the way forward.
“We all accept the need to wait for ASADA to complete its investigations and we will work with them to achieve that.
“Our clubs are also used to working with ASADA on an ongoing basis and the relationship has always been a cooperative one.
“We have said all along that the overwhelming majority of our players and clubs do the right thing.
“The way in which the group supported measures to address emerging threats underlined the faith they have in their clubs and the game.
“It echoes the support of the ARL Commission for the steps we’ve taken towards a game-wide response.
“There is no question in anyone’s mind that we are in for a great season in 2013, one that the clubs, players and fans can be excited to be a part of.”
Today’s meeting also added support for an Auckland Nine’s pre-season concept being further explored for 2014 by the ARL Commission.
The Nines would involve sixteen clubs playing across a maximum of 31 eighteen-minute matches (each club playing between three and six) over two days.
A key part of the discussion was that the dates could not affect the promotion of the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars, which remained the game’s major pre-season event.
Today’s discussion centred on the Nine’s replacing the first official weekend of trials.
The Chief Executives also received a briefing from new Referees’ High Performance Manager Daniel Anderson.
Mr Anderson outlined changes to the refereeing structure for 2013 in relation to video refereeing, as well as changes to rules and interpretations.
There was strong endorsement for the direction in which he has addressed the restructure.
The meeting also received briefings on the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the new NRL Club Network.
The new NRL Digital Media network has outlined an exciting program for building a deeper engagement with fans by creating more content.
A closer partnership with club websites and advances in fantasy league and tipping is expected to attract more than two million users a month to nrl.com alone.
Fans will also be able to access iPhone and Android mobile apps that broadcasts matches live-to-air throughout the season.
Due to launch in time for the season kick-off, the app will give fans the greatest access to live-to-air coverage in history.