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Greenberg confident NRL stars won't strike

NZN 29/05/2017 Matt Encarnacion

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg is confident the league's stars won't resort to strike action as the ongoing squabble over the game's money reaches fever pitch.

Greenberg was forced to defend league central on Monday after Queensland captain Cameron Smith used his pre-Origin press conference to address the collective bargaining talks.

Smith refused to rule out industrial action after being angered by the NRL's "inflammatory" response to the pay demands from the players' union.

His comments come amid speculation the players could boycott the World Cup at the end of the year, however, Greenberg is adamant negotiations won't result that way.

"I haven't heard that, I haven't seen that. I don't think it'll come to that," Greenberg said.

"We've been in really good discussions with the players and their association for a number of months but as I said at the outset, these are big negotiations for the players.

"I understand that and they've got their point of view to put across.

"Equally, we have a point of view that says we have to ensure the game has affordability across all levels."

The former Canterbury boss also denied the game had mismanaged their finances after Smith became the latest to question how league headquarters was spending its revenue.

At least $400 million is predicted to come through the game's coffers over the next five years, however, Greenberg preferred to explain the game's expenditures to the players.

"That's a discussion that I'd prefer to have with Cameron and the senior players," he said.

"I made a commitment to the players' association and the senior players that we wouldn't play out our negotiations in public.

"I stand by that and I'll maintain that."

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