NRL 2022: State of Origin, series opener, New South Wales, Queensland Maroons, pay dispute, Rugby League Players Association, news

A State of Origin wage dispute could be on the cards as NSW and Queensland players remain on a reduced match payment due to Covid-19.

A state-of-origin wage dispute could erupt before the end of the series, with Rugby League Players’ Association boss Clint Newton currently in talks with the NRL.

Players from NSW and Queensland previously received a payment of $30,000 for their original participation, but accepted a 50% reduction during Covid.

Now that deal is still in place, despite the NRL making a profit of $43m in last year’s Covid-affected season, according to The Daily Telegraph.

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Revenue grew 37% in 2021, rising $155.4 million to $575.1 million.

This year, that figure will be increased as fans return to stadiums in droves to watch the Maroons and Blues clash in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.

Ticket sales will see a huge increase over last year’s figures, having been played on smaller grounds in Townsville, Gold Coast and Brisbane due to Covid cancellations.

Sydney’s Accor Stadium seats 83,500, while Perth’s Optus Stadium seats 60,000.

Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane can seat 52,500 for a maximum total of 196,000.

Meanwhile, last year’s pitches can hold 104,900, more than 91,000 less than the 2022 Series venues can hold.

As it stands, RLPA power brokers are said to be discussing player payouts, which include Origin match fees.

Originally published as Home state wage dispute brews as players remain on reduced Covid payments

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