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Daly Cherry-Evans defends 'volatile' NRL questioning

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7th April, 2020
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Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans has defended his passionate questioning of NRL bosses during paycut meetings with the NRL last week.

The easy option would have been to stay out of it, but Manly and Queensland skipper Daly Cherry-Evans was determined to ask the tough questions during pay negotiations with the NRL last week.

Responding to a media report labelling him ‘too volatile’ for crunch meetings, Cherry-Evans, player director for the Rugby League Players Association, said he wanted to fight for clarity on the NRL’s financial position while negotiating for pay cuts over the COVID-19 shutdown.

“I didn’t go in there with any kind of agenda. I just wanted the best for the playing group and I felt like I had to ask the questions that everyone was thinking,” Cherry-Evans told Fox League on Tuesday.

“The first thing that I wanted to understand was our financial position.

“Why were we in that position as a game that we could only be offered two months of pay over the next seven?

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“I needed to understand why couldn’t it be more? Why couldn’t we take a percentage pay cut over the next couple of months instead of a big hit.

“The other thing that I wanted to know was if we were going to make such a big decision, I wanted all the financials laid out for us to see. Once you have clarity I think you can make the best decision moving forward.”

While Cherry-Evans doesn’t deny he asked NRL bosses Todd Greenberg and Peter V’landys the tough questions, he says his heart was in the right place

“They did answer the questions the best they possibly could,” he said.

“Some answers I felt like I didn’t like the answer, and that’s probably sometimes where I try to push a bit harder where I try to get them to accommodate the players a bit more. But in fairness, they did their best. 

“They answered everything that was put in front of them and I think they now understand that transparency is the best way to move forward, and that’s not just with the players but with the clubs. We need to be transparent, we need to be on the same page.”

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Cherry Evans said his passion to fight for the game and his teammates has developed in the past few years as he started to reflect on everything rugby league has given him.

“I want to leave the game in a better position than when I found it,” he said.

“The easy decision would have been to sit at home, but after talking to a few mates I couldn’t let that ship sail. 

“I had to fight for the boys. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a self-invested interest as well, I take a hit too, but that doesn’t affect me as much as a bloke living paycheck to paycheck.”

© AAP