Roosters coach backs top-8 NRL 2020 finals

Roosters coach Trent Robinson favours a full NRL finals series over a 3-game grand final match-up.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson favours a full NRL finals series over a 3-game grand final match-up.

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson wants the NRL to preference a full top-eight finals series before a best-of-three decider in any altered season structure.

Robinson sat in the inaugural meeting of the football innovation competition's committee on Wednesday, as the NRL attempts to plan any possible 2020 return.

The committee is being led by Wayne Pearce, and also includes players union boss Clint Newton and Canberra CEO Don Furner amongst others.

Options under consideration include a previously mooted wildcard weekend for teams ranked seventh to 10th and the possibility of taking all players to one location.

However it is the notion of the three-match grand final series that has raised the most eyebrows externally.

The series would be played over December and January, reportedly injecting $28 million into the cash-strapped code for just one additional game.

But speaking before Wednesday's meeting, three-time premiership winner Robinson said a full finals series should be a higher priority.

"Best of three... I'd say we'll be strapped for time," Robinson told SEN Radio.

"I would be giving the opportunity, if it's a shortened competition, for the top-eight and for teams to get the opportunity to play finals footy, to get finals coffers filled for more clubs.

"I think (the grand final series) would really benefit the AFL or the NRL and also the two teams, but we need to support the whole competition.

"I think the more finals games we play, making sure we play a top-eight, would make sure we get as many teams more financial as possible by the end of the year."

Meanwhile, league stalwart Phil Gould revealed on Wednesday he had knocked back an opportunity to join the committee.

But he said he would remain in constant contact with ARLC chairman Peter V'landys over how to best restart the competition.

The committee has been tasked with generating ideas to fill a 20-week competition should the NRL be cleared to return this season.

Also up for discussion is how to include representative football, including the usual rep round as well as the three State of Origin matches.

Australian Associated Press