Players union working with RFL on recognition agreement to give players a voice

Professional players in this country will soon have a voice in the sport’s biggest issues.

That’s the hope of Garreth Carvell, head of the players’ union in Britain which has seen numbers skyrocket since its inauguration late last year.

Carvell and the union have been in talks with the RFL for several months – and while those talks will reach a conclusion too late to see players have a say in this Friday’s crucial meeting to decide the league structure, Carvell told League Express he is confident in the future, the players’ voices will not be overlooked.

“The players are very intelligent – and there are some bright players in our game,” he said.

“They’ve got ideas and they’ve got things they want to contribute – and if I can get feedback from the RFL about issues, I can put it to our players and our members. I then feed it back to the RFL and the players have their voices heard: it’s not rocket science.

“A lot of people say that the players are the most important part of our game and I completely agree.

“This recognition agreement we’ve written up isn’t massive by any stretch of the imagination, but when it’s done, it will be huge for the players.

“We’re getting to the stage where the league structure is almost sorted so after that, I hope this takes priority and we can look forward with a bright future.”

Around 85 players were on the union’s books at the end of last year – but that number has shot up to over 600 as of last week.

“That happened really quickly, and it shows the players are keen to have their voices heard,” Carvell added.

“They just want an input – they don’t want to take the Sky money or change the world, they just want their voices recognised.”

Carvell and the union have also met with Widnes Vikings players recently to discuss the potential fallout of relegation from Super League at the end of this season, it is understood.

The union will work with any side relegated from the top-flight to ensure there is no fallout in terms of player welfare over the winter.