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Cameron Smith backflips over CBA talks
18:12 AEST Tue Feb 5 2013

Australian captain Cameron Smith has made a dramatic backflip, recanting his claim earlier on Tuesday that NRL players will not accept the Collective Bargaining Agreement on offer.

The Australian captain raised eyebrows when he told Sky Sports Radio that the CBA tabled by the ARL Commission "is going to get knocked back".

But just hours later when he arrived for the official All Stars team photo at Suncorp Stadium ahead of Saturday night's season opener, Smith sang a different tune after receiving fresh information from RLPA CEO David Garnsey.

"I obviously spoke on radio this morning about that. Since then I have had a chat with David Garnsey and he has given me an update and we are a lot closer to agreeing," he said.

"My comments were based on discussions we had around just before the break.

"I had not had the chance to speak to David or anyone from the RLPA (before the radio interview) but he has informed me that we are a lot closer to a deal."

Smith also scuppered any thought that the start of the season was in jeopardy due to the drawn out salary cap talks.

"There's been talk about the start of the season being in jeopardy but there is no talk about that in the playing group - we all want to get this deal done," he said.

"There are some points we are working through and hopefully we can get that done as soon as possible."

The ARLC have offered to lift the NRL salary cap from $4.4 million to $5.8 million this season, gradually rising it over the next five years until $7 million by 2017 and increasing the marquee player allowance from $300,000 to $550,000.


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