Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) Chairman, Russell Adams, last Wednesday announced Cameron Smith has joined the Board of the Association.
On the field the 33 year old captains Australia, Queensland and the Melbourne Storm, becoming in 2015 the Club’s first 300-Game player.
“Cameron is recognised as a leader both on and off the field and we are delighted to welcome him onto the Board where his Rugby League experience and insights will be immensely valuable,” said Adams. “We look forward to his views and perspective in relation to the range of opportunities and issues we consider as a Board.”
Smith believes he can make a significant contribution to the future of the Game through his role with the RLPA.
“I am passionate about our Game and want to see it grow and prosper,” said Smith. “To help that happen I believe the Playing Group must be engaged in decisions that affect Rugby League at all levels.
“As a current NRL Player, I’m well aware of and understand the challenges facing Players and the concerns they have about issues within the Game,” he said.
“The current CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) negotiations are our first priority and we want to build and maintain a strong relationship with the NRL and Clubs to make sure we continue to grow our Game together.”
Smith says providing Players with the best possible working conditions is key to the Game’s success.
“That will ensure we can deliver quality performances on the field each week,” said Smith. “But as genuine partners with the NRL and Clubs we can help in other ways to make the Game attractive to sponsors, fans and future Players and to protect the legacy of the Game.”
Four other current Players already sit on the Board in Tim Mannah (Eels), George Burgess (Rabbitohs), James Maloney (Sharks) and Jeremy Latimore (Sharks).
“Our members are fortunate to have a committed Board with strong Player representation and independent directors with impressive credentials,” said RLPA Chief Executive Ian Prendergast. “They all share our vision to protect and advance the interests of future, current and past Rugby League Players and proactively contribute to the development of our Game.”
In tandem with his role on the RLPA Board Smith has joined some of the leading names in Australian sport on the Athlete’s Board of the Australian Athlete’s Alliance (AAA) which meets twice a year to discuss key issues with the aim to improve the conditions of professional athletes across Australian sport.