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“Stop the overrated Aussies coming in” – Luke Gale proposes major salary cap change

Over the years Super League has seen some brilliant Australian imports and they’ve certainly elevated the level of competition, however Luke Gale has now called for a halt on that recruitment.

Whilst the level of Super League has certainly been raised by the import of Australian stars Super League now has it’s own stars, some that are unfortunately being lost.

Both Will Pryce and Kai Pearce-Paul will had down under at the end of the season whilst Kruise Leeming has just made the switch to the NRL having captained a team to the Grand Final last year.

The exodus of talent is something that former Man of Steel and Great Britain international Jackson Hastings had forewarned given the huge disparity in minimum salaries of the NRL and Super League.

He claimed whilst speaking on James Graham’s podcast that minimum wage in the NRL is $150,000 which is roughly £80,000, far more than what any Super League youngster will earn.

Another former Man of Steel, Luke Gale, has now joined the calls to retain English talent and he believes that stopping the recruitment of Australian veterans is the starting point.

Speaking on The Bench podcast with Jenna Brooks and Jon Wells, Gale asked the question: “How do we stop our young superstars being poached by the NRL?”

Brooks responded with her own idea.

“This is my theory. I think that Super League invests too much on NRL players, some that are probably past their prime who are looking for a final pay check. Invest that money into the youth over here.”

Gale agreed: “100% and I wouldn’t have dared say it. I love turning up to watch Will Pryce play, he puts bums on seats. Lewis Dodd got mentioned the other day, as did Jack Welsby. Now if we lose all these players, where’s our game going to go?”

Jon Wells then explained how Super League clubs have exploited loopholes to effectively overpay those veteran ageing NRL stars.

“We need to make it less easy for clubs to recruit Australian players if we think that’s the issue. One of the peculiarities of the contract system in this country is that if you want to bring in an overseas player they have to have played 75% of their available NRL games over the past two seasons.

“That’s designed to weed out those fringe players who are getting older from coming over and taking English guys places.

“There was a huge caveat written into that which was that you can still sign a player who has played fewer than 75% provided you pay them £100,000 or more per year. What do you think has happened? The caveat has been used more I dare say than the original clause.”

Gale then proposed his own idea that was to simply back the youth and pay them.

“It’s almost like you need to earn the right. If he’s that good just pay him what he’s worth.

“I just think we need a bit more fight and if they can’t afford to pay those young lads then what about a cap exemption for a young lad from your home town who you’ve nurtured through.

“It would stop an overrated Aussie coming in.”

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