Who's the fastest NRL player? Abdo backs sprint race in league gala

The NRL's great sprint race is back on the table with CEO Andrew Abdo backing the concept as part of an end-of-season skills showdown.

The topic of a race-off between rugby league's fastest men has long been discussed, with the closest thing being a cross-code model in 2010.

The AFL has a sprint race on grand final day made up of top-grade players, with Brownlow Medallist Patrick Dangerfield a three-time winner.

Debate over league's quickest man remains ongoing, with data showing that Melbourne's Josh Addo-Carr has been the fastest man on field at any point this year.

Manly flyer Jason Saab and Brisbane's Xavier Coates are the next best, with the two part of Magic Round's opening night on Friday.

But Abdo would love to see them battling off in a proper race, along with other skills challenges across different league disciplines.

"I think it's a great idea. I think it's something fans would love to see, say who is the fastest head to head sprinter in the NRL," Abdo told AAP.

"Who can kick the furthest? Who can jump the highest?

"We have incredible athletes in the game and for fans to see them duelling it out on their individual strengths would be an awesome thing for us to do.

"I would love to see it done in rugby league."

Nathan Cleary won a kicking contest at this year's NRL launch for hitting targets, but at one stage a battle for who could kick the furthest was discussed.

While this weekend's Magic Round provides the best opportunity for such competitions with all players together, Abdo said the post-season would be most likely.

"We've got to think about injuries and thinking about making sure whatever we do we do it from a player welfare perspective," Abdo said.

"Maybe it would be something we do at the end of the season. But I think it would be a great initiative."

The biggest challenge for any competition would likely be clubs, who would be nervous over injuries to star players.

But there are players would support it, with Saab keen to get the chance to show he is in fact the quickest over 100 metres.

"I know there's always been talk about the need to have a 100 metre race in the off-season, and I'm all for that," Saab said.

"I don't know (if I could beat Addo-Carr). Fox is quick.

"On a track, everyone is different because it's a different speed. There's only one way to find out."