The NRL have moved the progress work on the potential of creating player trading windows to enhance the contracting process.
The league held a meeting of club executives in Sydney yesterday, where the executives were updated on progress made by the 'Contract Window Working Group' - which was created to explore alternatives to the current contracting model.
All 16 clubs were said to have been in favour of further pursuing the establishment of trading periods, and agreed to deepen discussions with the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) about reforming the player contracting process.
"It is in the best interests of the game to have a more orderly process regulating player movement and the player contracting model. I'm pleased there was absolute support from club chief executives today in exploring this further,'' NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said.
"A trade window process would create more excitement and continuity for our fans who regularly express concerns about the current player contracting model.
"We will continue discussions on this issue over the coming weeks and we will consult the players for their views on this important matter.
"I thank the Contract Window Working Group for the significant work they have done in this very complex area."
The talks came just a month after a similar proposal was rejected by the RLPA. The RLPA has already expressed concern over the competition limiting player movement to strict windows as it means athletes can't immediately jump at an opportunity that presents itself.
The NRL were yet to settle on when exactly any trade window, or windows, but it was thought around the mid-season representative break and for a period during the off-season were seen as attractive options. If the two parties can find a way to come to an agreement, trading windows could be introduced as soon as the 2021 NRL season, NRL.com reports.
Trade windows are a regular feature of sports around the world, most notably in football and American sports. It adds an element to excitement to the competition, especially as the trade deadline nears. As well as fan excitement, player movement brings added media attention to the competition and a trade window would likely lead to periods of heightened media attention for the competition.
In recent times, player movement during the season has been rife in the NRL with players seeking immediate releases to change clubs and pursue better opportunities; with Warriors half Kodi Nikorima, Melbourne Storm centre Solomone Kata and Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak among the examples.