By Brad Walter of AAP
SYDNEY, March 10 AAP - Super League players have agreed to
remain solid in their refusal to return to the Australian Rugby
League for another month, regardless of what orders the Federal
Court hands down this week.
But Brisbane prop Glenn Lazarus today said the majority could be
back playing the ARL's 20-team premiership after that.
Lazarus said the four-week time frame revolved around News
Limited's stated intention last Friday to lodge an appeal before
the Full Bench of the Federal Court if Justice James Burchett
refuses News Ltd's application for a stay of the orders.
News Limited and Super League asked Justice Burchett to stay the
orders until after a full appeal against his February 23 decision
in favour of the ARL could be heard.
However, it is considered extremely unlikely he will accede to
their request, particularly as a full appeal may not be heard until
some time next year.
If granted, ARL lawyers have already described any stay on the
orders as a "back door win" for Super League.
Legal sources suggest an appeal against Justice James Burchett's
deciding not to grant a stay could be heard within three to four
Speaking from Brisbane, Lazarus said Super League players were
breaking themselves to make a decision about their futures after
"We've been told that within the next four weeks if something
hasn't been resolved we're going to have to make a big decision,"
Lazarus told Channel Seven's Football Show.
"That decision is not to play at all or to play with the ARL ...
we're just waiting for the next four weeks to happen.
"Super League's got a few things in the court at the moment and
they've guaranteed us that in four weeks there will be some sort of
result and we'll have to make a decision then."
Meanwhile, with ARL officials insisting the premiership can
kick-off no later than March 22, there has been much speculation
about whether the eight rebel clubs will field teams.
Brisbane Broncos chairman, Paul Morgan, added fuel to the rumour
mill today by claiming the club would field a second rate team in
the ARL competition if ordered to by Justice Burchett.
Morgan said the Broncos could buy the cash strapped Brisbane
West side, coached by Wayne Treleavan and whose star player is
former Gold Coast halfback Jason Twist.
But Lazarus rejected the idea and another that the Super League
players could set up their own competition.
"That's something that's been discussed but we don't want to get
to that stage," he said.
"We hope in the next four weeks that something can be resolved."
On the possibility of playing in England if Super League is
unable to get off the ground, Lazarus said he only knew of a few
players considering the idea seriously.
"I've only heard of a couple of blokes and they're the guys who
are free agents," he said.
"They haven't got contracts with the ARL and if the Super League
contracts are null and void, they're thinking about it."
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