Sam Tomkins and Richard Silverwood lead calls for Super League salary cap changes

It was reported in Australia earlier this morning by the Daily Telegraph that Wakefield Trinity star Lewis Murphy is set to make the switch down under.

Following his breakout season in Super League where he tallied 19 tries in 21 the winger has reportedly ‘agreed’ a deal with Sydney Roosters, although there’s no contract signed as yet, as reported here.

This is set to be a huge blow for not just Trinity, but also Super League and English rugby league on the whole.

If the move comes to fruition he’s set to join fellow young English talent Will Pryce and Kai Pearce-Paul, who have both already committed their future beyond 2023 to the NRL.

Earlier in the week former Man of Steel Jackson Hastings had commented on English stars leaving the game due to the huge NRL salary cap, and now another former Man of Steel, England captain Sam Tomkins, has now echoed those thoughts.

“With a minimum wage of $150k (£90k) in the NRL it’s not surprising kids are looking at making the move so early. Most young players playing regular SL would be earning about third of that if lucky,” Tomkins tweeted.

That had followed an earlier tweet by former match official, Richard Silverwood, who called for an increase to the salary cap to ensure the best young English talent remains in Super League.

Silverwood reacted: “Our game needs to stop this. Salary cap must increase otherwise the drain of talent will continue. Superstars in our game puts bums on seats. Half empty stadiums and talent leaving is worrying.”

Silverwood continued his thoughts in the replies with many arguing Murphy, and those before him, were simply ‘testing themselves in a better league’.

“Salary cap makes it a better league. You’re missing my point. Increase salary cap we get a better competition then it only comes down to lifestyle,” Silverwood continued.

Given that the NRL salary cap has just been bumped to over $12 million, or in conversion rates approximately £7 million, and Super League has less than a third of that with £2.1 million, it does become hard to retain the stars.

Whilst both Tomkins and Silverwood reacted as most have done, with an impending sense of doom and calls for action on the likes of IMG and the governing bodies to fix this issue, one former player stood out from the crowd.

Former Huddersfield Giants stalwart and big man of the game, Eorl Crabtree, reacted differently, even encouraging the move suggesting it’s a benefit to the English national side.

“IMO this is best for British rugby league long term,” Crabtree tweeted. “To attract new players there has to be more opportunity, not just in England but in the best comp in the world, with the potential to become a superstar. In time our national team will improve. Hero’s will be born.”

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