Pre-season friendlies to be axed in NRL?

In England, pre-season friendlies are part of the fixtures and fittings when it comes to our traditional Rugby League calendar. There’s the annual festive fixtures, which act as a saviour for those who have been devoid of their Rugby League in recent months.

And whilst most coaches and players cannot underestimate the importance of pre-season games, in Australia, they could be about to become a thing of the past.

The NRL have a number of games in their pre-season anyway, such as the traditional All Stars game, as well as the Auckland Nines and the World Club Series. All of this has left barely any room for friendlies – and international star Nate Myles admits they could become obsolete in the near future.

When Myles was asked whether he thought the need for friendlies was dwindling, he said: “I don’t think it has as of yet but I think it will to be honest with you.

“I don’t think there is a point in having three trials with two other games involved especially with the Nines where you are playing against other sides. But in saying that you’ve got to find that balance and run it past the coaches who want to see their side have a proper 80-minute hit-out against good competition in other clubs.

“It’s another five games onto the year and you want to chuck in some Origin games in there then there are a couple of players who are going to be playing a lot of footy.”