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Salford Red Devils could make ground breaking transfer

Many Super League clubs have confirmed some impressive signings this year from down under but securing the right signing from down under is not always easy.

NRL clubs on average have a lot more money to splash around than their Super League counterparts. This means a squad player in the NRL is likely to get a similar financial deal for being a backup down under as they are likely to get into Super League for being a key player with the bonus of staying at home.

This can make signing players from the NRL very difficult and of course, signing the biggest names in Australia is very tough especially at the peak of their powers meaning clubs often have to wait for players to pass their prime and hit the 30-year-old marker.

One option clubs could have considered instead is the most promising players in competitions like the Queensland Cup and other lower leagues. This competition has produced the likes of former Leeds Rhinos and Leigh Leopards star and new Salford Red Devils outside back Nene MacDonald who was picked up at Leigh from Norths Devils and was coached by former Leeds boss Rohan Smith.

But signing players from this competition has proven difficult due to the rules around Visas. The previous rules demand players to have played 50% of NRL games in the previous season which means players from the Queensland Cup were unable to be signed by Super League clubs.

However, this is set to change ahead thanks to the RFL who have pushed for this change which will allow for more freedom with regards to recruitment from Australia.

So, in the years to come, we could not only see the likes of Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Matt Frawley, Lachie Miller, Waqa Blake and other NRL stars but also promising young players from the Queensland Cup looking for some first-team action moving forward.

It also allows Super League clubs to exploit those players on train and trial deals down under in the NRL as well and will also allow more immediate transfers moving forward likely saving struggling clubs.

Salford Red Devils likely to exploit the new rule

Salford Red Devils coach Paul Rowley

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ – 13/04/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League – Salford Red Devils v Castleford Tigers – AJ Bell Stadium, Salford, England – Salford’s head coach Paul Rowley speaks to Sky Sports ahead of the game.

The most obvious club that could exploit this new rule is the Salford Red Devils. The Red Devils don’t have the spending power of some of their Super League rivals so spending less money on exciting young players in the Queensland Cup and NSW Cup.

The club still have a quota spot open for the new Super League season after the departure of Ken Sio and could utilise this new rule to find a cost-effective signing to fill it.

The Red Devils are one the best clubs at developing players so moving for someone from the Queensland Cup or NSW Cup would make a lot of sense for them.

If they do so they will be the first Super League club to utilise these new rules after Wakefield Trinity used them to sign Isaiah Vagana.

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