V'landys urges NRLW stars to spread out

Players are proving reluctant to leave successful NRLW clubs to boost expansion teams.
Players are proving reluctant to leave successful NRLW clubs to boost expansion teams.

Peter V'landys has pleaded with NRLW stars to end a stand off and move clubs if required, telling them to look at the bigger picture for the good of the women's game.

ARL Commission chairman V'landys is on the Sunshine Coast for Friday night's women's State of Origin, with contracting of players for the newly-expanded NRLW competition to reopen on Saturday.

But there are hurdles to clear before the NRLW season kick-off in August.

The NRL want to spread talent across the six clubs, with the top 24 players offered central contracts worth $28,000 and a limit of four to play at each team.

However next to no players have agreed to leave three-time defending premiers Brisbane, while new club Newcastle haven't attracted a top-tier player.

Players remain split on the issue, with some calling around to encourage moves while others want to stay put.

The situation is a point of contention with the players' union, while Broncos prop Millie Boyle this week hit out at the NRL, arguing players had a right to play wherever they wanted.

But while V'landys can understand their stance, he is adamant they need to support the game's growth by helping to develop young players at new clubs.

"What we're asking respectfully is to look at the big picture," V'landys told AAP.

"If you believe in the women's game, look at the big picture and make a sacrifice.

"The commission is very passionate and determined to grow the women's game.

"In order to make it a proper competition you don't want all the good players in one team, you want to spread them around."

Players can reject a central contract to stay at a club that already has the maximum of top-tier stars, but that does mean taking a financial hit.

The NRL claim they have also tried to avoid making players move to different areas, instead pushing Hunter players to Newcastle while several Broncos stars already live on the Gold Coast.

An even competition is seen as crucial in attracting fans and television dollars.

"We want to minimise any inconvenience because we acknowledge they are part-time (players)," V'landys said.

"The last thing we want to do is inconvenience or break up a team, but if you want growth quick, this is good policy."

V'landys accepted the argument from players that expansion from four teams to six would have been easier if announced well before early June.

"It's fair and I respect that," he said.

"But one of the things we have always said in these times is you have to be agile. If the circumstances were right, we would have done it eight months ago."

Australian Associated Press