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RLPA want 5-day turnarounds gone by 2018

NZN 6/04/2016 James MacSmith

Rugby League Players' Association boss Ian Prendergast has targeted the end of five-day turnarounds in the NRL by 2018.

Since taking over the top job in November Prendergast has overseen significant change at the players' body, which has included a comprehensive review and restructure of the organisation.

Prendergast was formerly second-in-charge at the AFL Players' association in a code where five-day turnarounds are banned.

He is keen to see a similar situation in the NRL.

"The big issue now in AFL is actually six-day turnarounds," Prendergast told AAP.

"It is about us working in genuine partnership with the NRL and broadcasters to formulate an approach that balances commercial interests with the players' interests from a health and safety point of view.

"We have some work to do, but we firmly believe that there is now a commitment to finding that balance and we will work to that over the next few years."

There are 31 five-day turnarounds this season, the same figure as last season. The NRL has committed to reducing the short breaks by 25 per cent next season.

"Our goal for 2018 is to only have five-day turnarounds in exceptional circumstances," Prendergast said.

"We will work towards that with the NRL and broadcasters.

"We need to continue to talk with them to get insight into the scheduling during games, because it is very complex.

"We understand that, including trying to work through stadium arrangements and travel arrangements of clubs there is a lot of competing interests involved, but I am confident we can find a way through."

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