RLPA and NRL close to agreement

The National Rugby League and its players could be only weeks away from signing off on the game's landmark first Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Tony Butterfield, president of the Rugby League Professionals Association (RLPA), yesterday met with NRL chief executive David Gallop in Sydney and emerged from the discussion confident that an agreement would be reached shortly.

Following the cancellation of the prestigious Dally M awards when talks broke down last year, the news is a welcome relief to a sticky situation that could have ended in disastrous circumstances for the code.

Butterfield says the parties could sign-off on an agreement before the start of the season.