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Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett during the NRL Rugby League match, Vodafone Warriors v Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday 21 July 2012. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/

A landmark NRL competition committee meeting has viewed and analysed comprehensive research into how rugby league has evolved over the past decade with a view to shaping how the game will look in 2024.

Meeting over two days in Sydney, the committee discussed a number of topics in the game, including the size of players in 2014 compared to a decade ago, the evolution of infringements and judiciary charges, training and playing workload, referees, the match review committee as well as the overall look of the game.

“We have been analysing the data for several months and it was important to show the people who are helping to shape the game, our competition committee,” said NRL head of football Todd Greenberg.

“We have former players, current and former coaches on the panel, with thousands of matches of experience and expertise in rugby league.

“The data highlights how the game has progressed as a professional code in the past decade, and also gave us a chance to look into the future.

“The game is taking a strategic, long-term approach to every facet of the organisation, and this is a critical component of our football department.

“Our committee viewed the analysis and discussed at length ways in which we can ensure the game will improve through its evolution.

“It was clear that the attendees embraced the long-term strategy and possess a strong desire to ensure the game is the best possible product for supporters and for participants, from grassroots to elite levels.

“This was the first time the competition committee has met over such a period and it was also the first time it has been given such thorough research to bring to the table. That can only help them make the right decisions for the future.”

The competition committee includes Wayne Bennett, Trent Robinson, Tim Sheens, Darren Lockyer, John Lang, Laurie Daley, Daniel Anderson, Tony Archer, Mark O’Neill and Michael Buettner as well as NRL chief executive Dave Smith and ARL commission chairman John Grant and commissioner Wayne Pearce.

“The meeting was a thorough and worthwhile exercise,” said Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

“We discussed a range of issues which are important to consider in the future direction of the game and I’m confident that we will enhance the code as a result.

“Everyone in the room has significant experience in rugby league and, above all, they have the game’s best interests at heart.

“The debate was robust and comprehensive and the long-term future of rugby league was foremost in our thinking.”


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