WAYNE Bennett says NRL clubs have to accept that contracts with players cut both ways and that they also have rights.
Given the embarrassing Semi Radradra saga and the number of player walkouts to head overseas, Bennett’s view is interesting given clubs always seem to hold the whip hand.
“The players have got some rights too,” said Bennett when asked if he thought the NRL could do more to stop players walking out on clubs to take up better deals.
“It’s not one-way traffic. They (clubs) will kick you out of a club pretty quickly.
“We’ve seen Parramatta move players on in the middle of the year ... they all have.”
But Bennett said when the boot was on the other foot and a player didn’t want to honour his side of the contract, clubs cried poor.
“I’ve always seen a great unfairness in all that,” said Bennett, jumping on suggestions the NRL should ban Radradra. “That would be ridiculous. They didn’t ban Sonny Bill Williams.
Williams bought out his NRL contract with the Bulldogs for $750,000 in 2008 to play rugby union for French club Toulon.
“Jarryd Hayne was under contract to Parramatta when he left to go the NFL and we all applauded what he did,” he said.
“Contracts should be a two-way thing, not just in favour of the employer.
Asked if the NRL would be disappointed with Radradra after going to great lengths to pick him in the Kangaroos side earlier this year, Bennett said: “There obviously could be a bit of egg on a few people’s faces.
“Who knows what the agenda is, but the bottom line is the players have some rights as well as the club.
“It can’t always be the club who says ‘we don’t want you any more, you’re out of here’ and their contract means nothing.”
Bennett also took a swipe at reports he was trying to recruit top NRL players with English parentage to play for England when he takes over as coach for the end-of-year Four Nations championship.
“It’s all media-driven,” he said following stories about the Morris twins, Brett and Josh, being qualified to play for England.
“You guys (the media) are getting yourselves all excited and your blood pressure is up.
“It’s not even logical – they’ve both played for Australia, why would they want to go an play for England?
“It’s just a cheap story.”
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