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

A State of Origin pay 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 pay dispute could break out before the series’ end, with Rugby League Players’ Association boss Clint Newton currently in discussions with the NRL.

NSW and Queensland players used to be paid a $30,000 match payment for taking part in origin, but agreed to a 50 per cent cut during Covid.

Now that agreement is still in place, despite the fact the NRL made a $43 million profit during last year’s Covid affected season, according to The Daily Telegraph.

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Revenue increased 37 per cent in 2021, increasing by $155.4 million to sit at $575.1 million.

This year, that figure will be boosted with fans returning to stadiums in droves to witness the Maroons and Blues face off in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.

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

Sydney’s Accor Stadium can seat 83,500 people, while Optus Stadium in Perth can fit 60,000 people.

Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium can hold 52,500 people totalling to 196,000 at most.

Meanwhile, last year’s grounds can hold 104,900, over 91,000 less than what the 2022 series venues can hold.

As it stands, RLPA powerbrokers are reportedly discussing player payments, which includes the Origin match fee.

Originally published as State of Origin pay dispute brewing as players remain on Covid-reduced payments

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