Raiders coach Ricky Stuart. Picture: Dan Himbrechts
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart. Picture: Dan Himbrechts

Ricky’s non-negotiable in NRL scheduling drama

CANBERRA coach Ricky Stuart has backed plans to scrap the conference idea declaring the only way to keep the competition's integrity is to play each other once.

The NRL will step up discussions with the broadcasters this week as they finalise the competition structure for a May 28 kick-off.

They want the restart of the season to be filled with blockbuster games, which could be highlighted by traditional rivals the Roosters and Rabbitohs facing each other.

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Stuart is open to ending the season with rivalry matches but said most important was ensuring 13 more rounds are played.

"To make it as fair as possible everyone needs to play each other once into a normal semi-final series," Stuart said.

"It keeps the integrity of the competition. It is less complicated and a very fair process.

"With the disruption we have had we need to keep the competition as fair as possible. It is the most uncomplicated process and the fairest way to play.

The Roosters and Rabbitohs could help relaunch the NRL season. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
The Roosters and Rabbitohs could help relaunch the NRL season. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

"I believe it's still in the hands of broadcasters and the NRL and they will make the end decision."

Clubs are expected to be able to return to training by May 4. Stuart said players would get found out if they had not used their time away from the field wisely.

"Some individuals will have been disciplined and followed their programs they have been given from each of their high performances coaches," Stuart said.

"Individuals who have been most healthy in regards to their mindset and diets and the way they have trained won't need anywhere near as much as lazy people who have used the virus as an excuse to not train.

"You can't say 'my team needs this long (to prepare)' because it's really how the individual in isolation has committed to his health and physical welfare."



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