Gallen denies boycott option in cap dispute

STEVE JANCETIC
Last updated 15:18 11/12/2012
Paul Gallen
Getty Images
PAUL GALLEN: "As players, we're definitely getting to where we need to be. We're not there yet but it's not too far off."

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NSW and Cronulla captain Paul Gallen claims talk of a strike is premature in the players' quest for a greater slice of the NRL money pie.

Gallen, preparing for a charity boxing bout in New Zealand on Saturday night, said he didn't believe the players and the NRL were too far apart as negotiations continue for a salary cap increase.

With ARL Commission chairman John Grant desperate to limit a cap increase in a bid to preserve money in a future fund, speculation has arisen that players could boycott next year's All Stars game if their demands are not met.

But Gallen denied that option was under serious consideration.

"There's no way in the world players want that," Gallen said.

"We love the fans, it's a blue-collar game and the fans love us because we get out there and we put our body on the line every single week.

"We certainly don't want to get to that stage. There certainly hasn't been talk about that."

Gallen was confident the resolution could soon be found in talks for a new collective bargaining agreement.

"I think both sides are working hard to get something done," he said.

"I don't think we are too far apart and every meeting I've been to, they've been more productive.

"It's certainly not a stand-off ... certainly no rush to get it done."

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- AAP

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