The Rugby League Players Association has doubled down on its criticism of the NRL, further outlining their issues with the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement as tensions between the league and its players reach boiling point.
The stand-off between the two parties has now stretched 12 days beyond the expiration of the last CBA, with an accord on fair pay and working conditions still unable to be reached at NRL HQ.
The schism widened this week when Melbourne hooker Harry Grant accused the league of "low-balling" its players, claiming fringe first-graders would be better off taking up a trade than vying for an NRL development contract.
The Men's and Women's Player Advisory Groups, which feature stars such as Daly Cherry-Evans, Millie Boyle and Damien Cook, later released a statement criticising the ARLC's "false" and "offensive" claims that the RLPA had misled its players in negotiations.
The RLPA went on the offensive again on Saturday, lashing what it called a "misleading" and "inaccurate" News Corp report that detailed the Commission's proposed CBA.
In a statement, the RLPA wrote that despite the $1.32 billion on offer, players would be pocketing a lower percentage of revenue than previously if they accepted the deal that had been tabled.
"The reported NRL proposal is far from extraordinary," the RLPA's statement read.
"If it was extraordinary, a recommendation would have been to accept the NRL's proposal on behalf of the players and an agreement would have been signed.
"However, because of the substandard deal on offer, we chose to reject it.
"A fundamental position for player associations in CBA negotiations is that the players' share of revenue does not go backward.
"Despite the large number in the headlines, the NRL players' share of revenue is going backward, and at a time when more players are joining the NRL competition courtesy of a 17th team and more full-time contracts are being proposed for players outside of the Top 30."
The RLPA said it was "disappointing" the ARLC had apparently leaked aspects of the negotiations to the media.
"There is a meaningful difference between publicising and celebrating your claims (as all stakeholders have done) and leaking confidential information that is counterproductive to good faith negotiations," the statement read.
"We can only question the motivations for doing so, but recent reporting does further damage to the relationship and undermines trust, which are important factors to enable a deal to get done."
The NRL was confident the CBA offered could meet the financial demands of the players, with ARLC chair Peter V'landys telling AAP on Friday that the league would not engage in public back-and-forth.
"We will continue to negotiate in good faith, and hopefully we will reach a resolution sooner rather than later," V'landys said.
"I will always act in the best interest of the game as a whole."
Amid the ongoing tension between the league and its players, Storm CEO Justin Rodski voiced his support for Grant and his "tradie" comments following public criticism.
"Harry would be one of the last players in the game to scoff at working in a trade, as some have suggested," Rodski said.
"Harry is an asset to the game, and to our club, and his views should be respected, not taken out of context to suit a narrative in the media."