The NRL's tactics in negotiations with the players' union over a new collective bargaining agreement have earned a strong rebuke from Kangaroos hooker Harry Grant, who accused the game's powerbrokers of lowballing its athletes.
The Clint Newton-led Rugby League Players Association has been in dialogue with the NRL over the CBA for the best part of 12 months.
But when the NRL's new contractual year began on November 1 last week no deal was signed.
Newton has been in the UK this week and met with Kangaroos, while NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo has remained in Australia as frictions over funding with the 17 clubs grow.
Clubs remain in limbo over the size of their squads and salary cap ahead of the 2023 season.
Players have also been left in the dark over minimum wage and revenue-sharing aspects of the agreement.
Grant argued that the NRL was yet to come to the table with a deal commensurate with the players' contribution to the game.
"I've got strong thoughts (and) for us as players it's our livelihood," he said.
"We just need to get something sorted for everyone's sake.
"We've put enough into this game, for what we get out of it they are low-balling us at the moment the NRL.
"The RLPA do a great job and have negotiated pretty fairly."
While the impasse won't jeopardise the incomes of the Kangaroos players, those lower down the pecking order on smaller contracts are beginning to feel the pinch.
Grant was one of those players not so long ago with his rise to Test and State of Origin level resulting in him being rewarded with a rich contract at Melbourne through to the end of 2025 earlier this year.
"Everyone thinks you're playing NRL and you're on good coin, but the reality is that you're not," he said.
"You have a lot of expenses along the way (especially) if you have to move away from home to chase your dream.
"I think a development contract is $60,000. Some blokes would be better off going to work on the tools."